Applebee's parent company hires mergers and acquisitions vet as CFO

The parent of Applebee’s and IHOP has filled the remaining gap in its turnaround team with the appointment of mergers and acquisitions veteran Thomas Song as CFO.

Song, who will assume the post at Dine Brands Global on May 29, is currently SVP of corporate development and innovation for Choice Hotels International, the multi-concept hotel franchisor previously headed by Dine Brands CEO Steve Joyce.

“Having worked with Tom directly, I know what a gifted, esults-driven leader he is, and also value his skills as an excellent leader of people and team culture,” Joyce said in a statement.

He noted Song’s experience in acquisitions and franchising as well as the University of Chicago graduate’s background in financing. Joyce has stated that he intends to add at least one brand to Dine Brands’ all-franchised full-service stable within the coming year. In an interview with Restaurant Business last week, he noted that the company is currently reviewing acquisition prospects, and foreshadowed Song’s appointment by saying that the company was about to bring in a party to help in that endeavor. 

The CFO’s post will be Song’s first in the restaurant business. Before joining Choice earlier in the decade, he held a development and strategy position for Hanover Insurance Group.

He will assumes the new job from Greggory Kalvin, who will return to the posts of SVP and corporate controller after pinch-hitting as interim CFO.  

During Song’s tenure, Choice grew to 11 lodging brands, including Ascend, EconoLodge, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn and Sleep Inn.

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