DineEquity Inc., parent of the IHOP and Applebee’s chains, has confirmed the departure of several top executives in recent weeks.
Shannon Johnson, the former vice president of culinary and menu strategy for Applebee’s, has left the company, and a replacement is being sought, said Nancy Mays, a spokeswoman for the brand.
Johnson, who joined Applebee’s in 2003, is credited with guiding the menu overhaul at the casual-dining chain after it was acquired by DineEquity in late 2007. Since then, about 90 percent of the menu has been upgraded or replaced.
At press time, it was not immediately clear what Johnson’s plans were, and he could not be reached for comment.
At IHOP, Patrick Lenow, formerly executive director of communications, also left the company as of March 16. Mays said DineEquity is looking to replace him.
In addition, Jim Peros, former senior vice president of operations at IHOP, retired earlier this month. Tom Coelho was promoted to vice president of operations, but May said the company is looking to fill the senior vice president position within that division.
Based in Glendale, Calif., DineEquity franchises and operates about 3,500 restaurants under the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP brands.