DineEquity, the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants, 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, takes over for DineEquity CEO Julia Stewart, who led IHOP's resurgence in the additional role as interim brand president for three years.

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, responsible 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," Stewart says. "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.”

Previously, Mr. Rebelez held executive level positions with ExxonMobil's On the Run convenience store division, working directly with existing and new franchisees while establishing enhanced franchisee communications. He 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.

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