Johnny’s Pizza House has announced that the company reached its goal of becoming a 100% employee-owned organization. Founder Johnny Huntsman imitated the change, and work started in May 2000.
Founded in 1967, Johnny’s Pizza House was supported and funded by members of the Huntsman family, friends of “Mr. Johnny,” and some of the very first Johnny’s Pizza House employees.
As the company continued to grow over the next 30 years, Huntsman began building a plan for the future. He balked at the notion of selling Johnny’s Pizza House to just anyone. Would a new owner maintain the product quality and family environment that had made the chain a Louisiana icon? What would happen to the employees? The solution was an employee stock ownership plan: a self-sufficient organization owned solely by the very employees that operated it.
Since the inception of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) on May 18, 2000, when Huntsman sold 8,806 of his personal shares to the plan, the team at Johnny’s began working to reallocate funds to purchase the remaining shares from its existing stockholders. Those shares would then be reinvested back in to the company and its employees.
As 2018 began, Johnny’s Pizza House had reached 88% employee ownership with only 12% still held by two remaining stockholders. By the end of 2018, after 18 ½ years, Johnny’s Pizza House accomplished its goal set in 2000 and purchased the remaining stock shares to become 100% employee owned.
“Reaching 100% employee ownership is a huge accomplishment for Johnny’s Pizza House. This is a goal that we have been working towards for 18 ½ years. We were lucky to maintain good friendships and partnerships with our last two remaining stockholders during this time and they were a great support to us as we closed in on our goal,” said Johnny’s Pizza House President Melvin DeLacerda.
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“Being 100% employee owned was something that our founder, Mr. Johnny Huntsman, had envisioned for the organization. He wanted our employees to be invested in and proud of the organization they were helping to build each day. All levels of employees are eligible to participate in the plan. Everyone has a voice.”
What does this achievement mean for Johnny’s Pizza House? It means more growth and that Johnny’s will continue to invest and expand in their communities and offer their customers quality service and pizza.