SPARTANBURG, S.C. —Two top executives at Denny’s Corporation have resigned. The resignations of Mark Chmiel, executive vice-president and chief marketing and innovation officer, and Janis Emplit, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, are effective before year end.

As a result, Denny’s has launched a national executive search to fill the positions; both internal and external candidates will be considered. In the interim, Mr. Chmiel’s and Ms. Emplit’s responsibilities will be allocated amongst the marketing and operations teams, respectively, the company relayed.

"While we have been making a number of meaningful improvements to our business, including enhancing our profitability, reducing our debt and opening new stores, our comp-store sales have been a challenge," said Nelson Marchioli, president and chief executive officer. "As the external operating environment remains difficult and the industry increasingly competitive, it is necessary to ensure we have the leadership that can drive sales and the brand forward as it progresses in its transition to a primarily franchise-focused business model."

The Denny’s restaurant chain consists of 256 company-owned units and 1,289 franchised and licensed units, with operations in the U.S., Canada, Costa Rica, Guam, Mexico, New Zealand and Puerto Rico.