Walker, who earned his doctorate in food science from Oklahoma State University in 1990, has more than 17 years experience in the restaurant and foodservice industries, including the last 10 years with the Sara Lee Corporation where he served as director, continuous improvement - process for Sara Lee Food & Beverage since 2005. Other positions held by Walker with Sara Lee included director, marketing development, Specialty Brands team (2004-2005); director, new business and product development, retail launch group (2001-2004); and vice president, research and development for State Fair Foods (1996-2001).
Prior to Sara Lee, Walker spent three years with Pizza Hut Inc., serving as manager, business and new product development, and senior scientist, business and food development (1993-1996). He began his career with General Mills Inc., where he served as senior research food scientist (1990-1993).
"Derek's vast experience in the foodservice industry and his knowledge of food science will be a tremendous asset to Papa John's," said Bill Van Epps, Papa John's president, USA, to whom Walker will report. "I'm confident in Derek's ability not only to help us deliver on our brand promise of 'Better Ingredients, Better Pizza,' but also to take our quality advantage to new heights."
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John's is the world's third largest pizza company. Papa John's has been rated no. 1 in customer satisfaction among all QSR chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for seven years running (1999 - 2006). For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com
CONTACT: Papa John's International, Inc., Louisville Chris Sternberg, 502-261-4934 Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications SOURCE: Papa John's International, Inc.