Dine Brands Global Inc., parent company of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP, has hired executive search firm Spencer Stuart to find a successor for CEO Steve Joyce, whose employment agreement with the company expires on Feb. 1, 2021.
Joyce became the Glendale, Calif.-based company’s chief executive in September of 2017, when it was called DineEquity, after having served on the company’s board of directors since 2012.
“I am proud of the growth that we have experienced during my tenure as Chief Executive Officer,” Joyce said in the release announcing the hiring of Spencer Stuart. “Since 2017, we have established and executed on strategic plans, strengthened the franchisee base, completed a $1.3 billion securitization transaction and returned significant capital to stockholders. With the occurrence of the crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is not only essential that we all focus on our current situation, but also our emergence with a strong leadership team for the future.”
Like most restaurants, particularly full-service ones, Dine Brands units were hit hard by the pandemic, with sales plummeting to 25% what they had been at IHOP and 35% at Applebee’s.
Both chains were quick to reopen their dining rooms, under new social distancing restrictions, once they were allowed.
“We appreciate Steve’s considerable contributions to Dine Brands during a critical period for the Company accentuated by this current crisis,” Dine Brands chairman of the board Richard Dahl said. “We are pleased to be working with Spencer Stuart to identify a leader from both an internal and external pool of candidates.”
As of the end of the first quarter of 2020, there were 1657 domestic Applebee’s locations and 1,841 IHOP restaurants. Combined, they generated around $7.3 billion in sales in the United States.
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