Julia Stewart plans to resign from her position at DineEquity Inc., parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants, effective March 1, 2017. Stewart serves as the company’s chairman and CEO and is also interim president of Applebee’s.
The board of directors has named its current lead director, Richard Dahl, to serve as interim CEO and chairman, effective March 1, 2017. The board also plans to conduct a search for a permanent replacement. Upon completion of the CEO search, the DineEquity board of directors intends to separate the chairman and CEO roles.
Dahl has served on Dine Equity’s board of directors since February 2004 and has more than 35 years of experience in senior management of public and private companies, including service as chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. The board appointed Caroline Nahas as DineEquity's lead director to replace Mr. Dahl and Douglas Pasquale to succeed Mr. Dahl as chairman of the audit and finance committee.
In the same release detailing the leadership transition DineEquity released preliminary (unaudited) fourth quarter 2016 and fiscal 2016 financial results. IHOP's domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales were down 2.1 percent for the fourth quarter of 2016. IHOP's domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales decreased 0.1 percent for the company’s 2016 fiscal year.
Applebee's domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales declined 7.2 percent for the fourth quarter of 2016. Applebee's domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales decreased 5.0 percent for the 2016 fiscal year.