|Julia A. Stewart|
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, President, Applebee's
Julia A. Stewart, a nearly 45-year veteran of the restaurant industry, serves as chairman and CEO of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN). DineEquity is one of the world’s largest full-service restaurant companies, which she led the creation of in 2007 by merging Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP Restaurants into what is now a nearly $8 billion (system-wide sales) company. DineEquity franchises and operates more than 3,600 restaurants globally in 18 countries under the Applebee’s and IHOP brands, with over 385 independent franchisees. The company is based in Glendale, CA.
Ms. Stewart has demonstrated proven expertise and leadership in brand revitalization and positioning. Prior to creating DineEquity, she was the first woman CEO of IHOP in the chain’s 54-year history. She implemented significant shifts in strategy that invigorated the brand, strengthened its franchising position and improved the company’s financial performance by more than doubling system-wide sales. IHOP is now the market share leader in family dining. After establishing DineEquity, Ms. Stewart utilized a similarly focused, consumer-centric strategy to restore Applebee’s to the leadership position in casual dining.
Prior to leading IHOP and then forming DineEquity, Ms. Stewart previously served as President of Applebee’s. Earlier in her career, she also held key executive positions with Taco Bell, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Black Angus/Cattle Company and Spoons Grill & Bar. Ms. Stewart’s lifelong passion for the restaurant business started with her first job as a teenage food server at IHOP in her native California.
Ms. Stewart is a founding member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), a vital industry organization dedicated to the development and advancement of women, and is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including being named Operator of the Year by Nation's Restaurant News twice, most recently in 2015.
She has served on the Board for Avery Dennison (NYSE:AVY) since being appointed in 2003 and is currently Chairman of the Board of The Children's Bureau of Southern California, having been appointed in 2006.
Ms. Stewart earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from San Diego State University. She also received an honorary doctorate in Business Administration from Johnson & Wales University. She and her family reside in the Los Angeles area.
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