Shaquille O’Neal’s attendance as Papa John’s director draws flak from major investor
After skipping too many board meetings, investors have been asked to vote against Shaquille O’Neal’s re-election as a director of Papa John’s International Inc.
According to Jeff Green of Bloomberg, investment adviser Institutional Shareholder Services reported that over the last year, O’Neal attended less than 75% of meetings. The NBA legend joined the board a year ago after founder John Schattner got involved in a number of scandals. This notably included using slurs in a call about the NFL’s national anthem protests. In a plan to conduct an overhaul of their image, Papa John’s recruited the four-time NBA champion.
The company announced shortly after that the retired NBA center entered into a three-year endorsement agreement. He also reportedly invested in nine restaurants in the Atlanta area. However, Shaq has since missed several board meetings. In a proxy filing, the company cited pre-existing commitments made prior to his board appointment. Such conflicts, they emphasized, will not recur in 2020. Papa John’s filed just ahead of the annual meeting, scheduled April 23.
The 15-time NBA All-Star started his basketball career as the first overall pick in the 1992 draft. He then spent 19 years in the league and solidified himself as one of the best basketball players of all time. After retirement, the two-time scoring champion dabbled in several careers off the court. He completed his studies, ventured into the music and acting industry, and even in the world of professional wrestling.
Most notably, O’Neal is currently a sports analyst for Inside the NBA on TNT. He is also an active businessman and investor, a venture that now includes his current contract with Papa John’s.