Stephen P. Joyce has been named CEO of DineEquity, Inc.
GLENDALE, Calif. — Stephen P. Joyce has been named CEO of DineEquity Inc., parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants, effective Sept. 12. He has served as a member of the board of directors for DineEquity since 2012. Joyce succeeds Julia Stewart, who resigned from her position as chairman and CEO of DineEquity in March after 16 years with the company.

"Over the last five years, I have seen DineEquity, Applebee's and IHOP experience both incredible success and challenging periods, like the one we are in today," Joyce said. "During my time as a director, I've come to understand many of the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities before us. I guess you could say I'm coming into this eyes wide open and what I see is a future filled with tremendous possibilities. With a talented management team, a committed franchisee base, and a strong group of shareholders, I look forward to working to stabilize performance at Applebee's and identify new pathways to growth for IHOP. I am committed to creating increased shareholder value at DineEquity and financial success for our franchisees and team members. I am thrilled at the opportunity to lead this company and its iconic brands into their next chapter."

Joyce is currently CEO of Choice Hotels International Inc., a position he has held since June 2008. Prior to that, he was executive vice president, global development/owner and franchise services for Marriott International Inc. Before joining Marriott, Joyce held a variety of positions in franchising, finance and operational consulting.

“Steve is clearly the best fit to lead the company and its two iconic brands," said Caroline W. Nahas, lead director of DineEquity. "Steve has a long and proven track record of successfully leading global consumer franchised businesses. While serving as CEO of Choice Hotels, Steve was instrumental in developing a robust performance-based culture, placing an emphasis on agility and innovation and creating momentum and opportunity for the company, franchisees and shareholders. He was also responsible for driving significant growth during one of the most challenging markets in the industry's history. Throughout his three decades of senior leadership in the hospitality and restaurant industries, Steve has accumulated a wealth of experience in franchising, marketing, operations, finance and development. These skills ideally position him to execute upon and enhance our turnaround initiative for Applebee's and our growth plans for IHOP." 

Richard J. Dahl, chairman of the board and interim CEO for DineEquity will remain as chairman and continue to serve as interim CEO until Joyce assumes the role in September. Joyce will remain on the board of directors.

"Importantly, Steve is well aware of the efforts underway to re-empower and place on a solid growth course both the Applebee's and IHOP businesses,” Dahl said. “In his role as a member of the board of directors, he has developed a deep understanding of our business and brands and a commitment to the well-being of our franchisees and shareholders. I look forward to working with him in his new role.”