PAPA JOHN'S MARKETING CHIEF STEPS DOWN

Gary Langstaff Was With Pizza Chain Six Months

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Papa John's International today said its chief marketing officer of six months, Gary Langstaff, is "no longer affiliated with the company."

In a tersely written statement, the

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No. 3 pizza chain said it has hired an executive search firm to find a new marketing chief and that William Van Epps, chief operating officer, would handle marketing on an interim basis.

Reached this evening, Mr. Langstaff declined to comment.

The Louisville, Ky.-based marketer said it had no plans to "change the current direction of its marketing," which carries the tagline "Better Ingredients. Better Pizza."

The marketer didn't disclose the reasons behind the 30-year marketing veteran's departure, citing company policy. Mr. Langstaff earlier held top marketing posts at Burger King Corp. and Hardee's Food Systems.

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