Name: Ravi Thanawala
New title: Chief financial officer, Papa Johns
Previous title: Chief financial officer, Nike North America
Ravi Thanawala will start as Papa Johns CFO on July 24, according to a press release issued by the company Monday. Thanawala most recently worked as CFO of Nike’s North America division, which is Nike’s largest branch and reported $18 billion in revenue in 2022.
Prior to that, Thanawala held various posts at Nike over a roughly seven-year period, including a stint as CFO of Converse, whose business model includes franchising, according to the press release. Thanawala’s time at Nike corresponded with the growth of its online business. Thanawala also served as CFO at ANN Inc., the parent company of Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lou & Grey.
“[Thanawala’s] track record of leading companies with diversified business models and robust e-commerce platforms will be key to enabling our continued growth through both our corporate-owned and franchisee-led restaurants,” Papa Johns CEO Rob Lynch said in a statement. Thanawala said the pizza brand has considerable whitespace for growth.
Papa Johns has leaned into new menu items as a way to entice customers with novelty offerings while balancing value in recent quarters. This strategy could allow Papa Johns to compensate for the erosion of consumer spending power caused by inflation broadly outpacing wage growth. The company is also strengthening its digital channels through recent executive hires. Mark Shambura, who was hired by Papa Johns as CMO in May, is emphasizing digital efforts and analytics-based marketing. Thanawala’s Nike experience could also help with digital strategy, as Nike considerably emphasized its digital channels over the last few years.