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Dine Brands hires Walgreens HR exec as chief people officer

Sarah Cannon-Foster will be in charge of helping the owner of Applebee’s, IHOP and Fuzzy’s develop talent across all levels of the business.
Sarah Cannon-Foster
Sarah Cannon-Foster was most recently VP of HR for Walgreens Boots Alliance's U.S. healthcare division. / Photo courtesy of Dine Brands Global

Dine Brands Global, the owner of Applebee’s, IHOP and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, has hired a Walgreens human resources executive as its new chief people officer.

Sarah Cannon-Foster was most recently VP of human resources for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s U.S. healthcare division. She’d been in that role since December 2021 and held a number of other HR positions at the retail pharmacy starting in 2016.

Before that, she spent more than 18 years in HR at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where she would have overlapped with Dine Brands CEO John Peyton. He worked in operations and marketing at the hotel operator from 1999 to 2016.

At Starwood, Cannon-Foster helped create a development program focused on helping women and people of color grow into leadership roles. And at Walgreens, she was responsible for all HR functions in its new healthcare segment.

“Sarah’s extensive experience and success in leading human resources functions, particularly across the hospitality and services industries, makes her a key asset on our leadership team,” Peyton said in a statement Monday. “We all look forward to working with and learning from Sarah in the months to come.”

At Dine, the franchisor of more than 3,400 restaurants worldwide, she’ll focus on helping the company develop its talent and strengthen its teams at the corporate, franchisee and restaurant levels. She’ll spend her first 100 days getting to know Dine’s concepts: the full-service Applebee’s and IHOP and the fast-casual Fuzzy’s.

“It is a privilege to join Dine Brands Global as its new Chief People Officer, a company whose restaurants I have long enjoyed,” Cannon-Foster said in a statement. “Dine sits at a pivotal juncture filled with tremendous possibilities and growth, and I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with our talented team members.”

Her new role will start April 17.

She replaces former Chief People Officer Greg Bever, who left Dine in July, according to his LinkedIn profile. He’d been with the company for 11 years.

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