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IHOP reaches into 7-Eleven for new president

The franchisor of IHOP has hired industry outsider Darren Rebelez as president of the family restaurant chain.

Rebelez was previously COO of the 7-Eleven convenience-store chain.

He assumes responsibility for IHOP from Julia Stewart, CEO of the brand’s parent company, DineEquity. Stewart has been serving as IHOP’s president in addition to shouldering her corporate duties since the resignation of Jean Birch three years ago.

“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,” Stewart said when announcing Rebelez’s appointment.

A high percentage of the 7-Eleven chain is franchised, a rarity in the c-store business.

Rebelez worked at 7-Eleven for seven years, after holding several executive posts at ExxonMobile’s On the Run c-store chain. He logged experience in the restaurant business during earlier jobs with Fuddruckers and KFC.

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