Former NBA star and current analyst Shaquille O'Neal's partnership with American pizza joint Papa John's is in jeopardy as the NBA legend could be ousted by the shareholders for missing meetings. Multiple reports have suggested that the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) have insisted Papa John's holders to evict O'Neal from the board for being careless towards his duties as a board member.
Shaquille O'Neal, who is widely known for his several endorsements outside of the NBA, joined Papa John's in March 2019 as a board member and a brand ambassador to help the franchise with its brand image. O'Neal reportedly signed a three-year deal with Papa John's after its founder and former chairman, John Schnatter, stepped down from his position.
Highlight: A proxy firm wants Shaquille O'Neal off the Papa John's board. "There were 16 board meetings in 2019, and Shaq is the only board member who did not make 75% of them," @readdanwrite says. pic.twitter.com/gxNTHXhD42— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) March 30, 2020
It is reported that since becoming a member of the board last year, O'Neal allegedly attended less than 75% of board meetings. Due to this poor record, ISS has reportedly suggested the holders 'to oppose his re-election in the upcoming shareholder vote'. The voting is believed to take place in the final week of April.
However, the pizza retail franchise has defended the NBA legend for missing most of the meeting over the past year by issuing an official response to ISS. Papa John's have reportedly stated, 'Shaquille O’Neal has made important contributions to Papa John’s since joining the Board in March 2019, when he also became a brand ambassador as well as a franchisee. Since he came onto the Papa John’s Board, O’Neal has used his experience in business and the community to build on the progress being made at Papa John’s'.
The pizza joint further stated that the NBA legend was unable to attend board meetings due to his various commitments which were made prior to his appointment as a board member. Papa John's also stated any such scheduling conflicts are not expected to recur in the upcoming financial year.
According to NBC Sports, Shaquille O'Neal's current net worth stands at a whopping $400 million. Having retired in 2011, the former Lakers star remains associated with the NBA as an analyst on NBA on TNT. Furthermore, O'Neal made investments in various business ventures like Krispy Kreme Donuts, NRG Esports, Loyale3 Holdings Inc. and others.