Former 7-Eleven COO to Lead Iconic Brand
DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), the parent company of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants, today announced the appointment of Darren Rebelez as president, IHOP brand, effective May 4, 2015. Mr. Rebelez, who most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of 7-Eleven, Inc., the world’s largest convenience store chain, takes over for DineEquity Chief Executive Officer Julia Stewart, who for the last three-years has led IHOP’s resurgence in the additional role as Interim brand president.
During Mr. Rebelez’s seven-plus years with 7-Eleven, the company enjoyed both earnings and store growth, with Darren leading a drive to improve operations and culture change. He was involved in and led multiple functions for the company as part of his P&L responsibility for more than 8,300 stores and 5,000 franchisees.
“Throughout our search process, we’ve focused on finding a very specific person to fill the president’s role and continue the fantastic results and momentum we’ve built over the past few years,” said Ms. Stewart. “What was most important, and what we’ve found in Darren, is someone with superior leadership qualities, extensive experience and a unique understanding of the franchisor/franchisee relationship. I look forward to partnering with him as we continue to ensure the IHOP brand’s position as the number one choice for breakfast.”
Previously, Mr. Rebelez held executive level positions with ExxonMobil’s On the Run convenience store division, working directly with existing and new franchisees, while leading the establishment of enhanced franchisee communications. He has also served in executive positions for Fresh Serve Bakeries (Dunkin’ Donuts’) for Thornton Oil Corporation, Daka International’s Fuddruckers brand and PepsiCo’s KFC brand.
“IHOP is a one-of-a-kind brand that has endured as a beloved dining option for more than five decades,” said Mr. Rebelez. “I’m excited by the opportunity to work alongside Julia in leading a great team and franchise system, and a brand that has both a tremendous history as well as a future that is built on fantastic recent results.”
Based in Glendale, California, DineEquity, Inc., through its subsidiaries, franchises and operates restaurants under the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP brands. With more than 3,600 restaurants combined in 19 countries, over 400 franchisees and approximately 200,000 team members (including franchisee- and company-operated restaurant employees), DineEquity is one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the world. For more information on DineEquity, visit www.dineequity.com.