American pizza restaurant chain Papa John's International has announced the retirement of chief operating officer, international, Jack Swaysland and promoted Amanda Clark to chief international and development officer. Clark will now oversee international strategy in addition to her global development responsibilities.
Liz Williams was also named chief international operations officer, reporting to Clark. She will assume Swaysland’s role and will be responsible for Papa John's international markets and international team.
Clark and Williams’ appointments are effective May 2, 2022. Swaysland will continue to support the transition through the end of the year.
Clark joined Papa John's in 2020 as chief development officer, after eight years at Taco Bell where she led restaurant experience, North America development and also served as general manager of Canada during her time there.
During her two years with Papa John's, the company has reinvigorated development, achieving one of its best years ever of net new restaurants opened in 2021. Under Clark’s leadership Papa John's has forged its largest domestic and international development deals in the company’s history. Among these, the agreement with FountainVest Partners to open over 1,350 new stores across South China by 2040 is the largest development deal ever announced in the pizza industry and alone will grow Papa John's global unit count by 25%.
“Amanda and her team have been a significant driver of the growth of Papa John's over the past year. There’s no doubt that our international business is becoming more and more important as we continue to take advantage of the vast whitespace available to us outside of North America. In addition, Amanda will enhance the integration between our North American and International businesses, which will be critical as we look to accelerate growth and create more efficiencies globally,” said Papa John’s president and CEO Rob Lynch. “
“I also want to thank Jack for his leadership during his 16 years with the company. Papa Johns would not be the global brand it is today without his many contributions.”
Williams joined Papa John's in 2018 as the managing director of Papa John's United Kingdom, overseeing the company’s largest market outside of the US. She was later promoted to managing director of the UK and major markets, leading some of the company’s largest and best-performing countries including China, Chile and Korea. Williams has more than 25 years’ experience in various operations roles in the QSR, casual dining and fine dining industries.
“Liz is a great asset to Papa John's and has led our largest international markets as well our UK quality control center during one of the most challenging operating environments in history, managing through a global pandemic and now unprecedented economic and geopolitical pressures. There’s nothing that gives me more pride than developing our best talent from within and providing them with new growth opportunities. I welcome Liz to our executive leadership team,” said Lynch.