Papa Murphy’s reduces staff in cost-cutting effort

“Strategic realignment” expected to save operator $1.5 million a year


Jonathan Maze, Nation's Restaurant News

Feb 15, 2017


Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc. is eliminating certain management positions and corporate personnel in what it calls a “strategic realignment of resources” that is expected to save $1.5 million a year, the company said on Wednesday.


Eleven positions were eliminated, according to SEC filings, including the company’s chief development officer, Jayson Tipp, and its chief marketing officer, Brandon Solano. The company expects to take a $1 million charge related to severance payments.


“While it’s always a difficult decision to affect people, this realignment is necessary to ensure the business is as efficient as possible while we remain laser-focused on the support of our franchise owners and field staff as we all execute on our key strategies,” Papa Murphy’s interim CEO Jean Birch said in a statement. “Operating with an efficient cost structure is critical to the health of the company and is in the best interest of all of our stakeholders, including our franchise owners, employees and shareholders.”


The move comes as the 1,600-unit, Vancouver, Wash.-based pizza chain works to recover from steeply falling same-store sales.


Papa Murphy’s fourth-quarter same-store sales fell 7.8 percent. The company’s stock, which traded at nearly $13 a share last May, has fallen to just over $4 per share. The company reported a net loss in the third quarter.


The weakening results led to the departure of CEO Ken Calwell, with Birch named as his interim replacement...