Lenexa, KS, (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Applebee's Services, Inc. today announced the appointment of Rebeca M. Johnson to the position of senior vice president, marketing. Johnson, as a member of the senior executive team, will provide leadership for the Company's marketing efforts including consumer insights, advertising, innovation, national, field, and brand marketing. Specifically Johnson will lead the efforts to re-energize the Applebee's brand, and re-establish same-store sales momentum through strategies that include a focus on new, craveable grill & bar food that differentiates the brand from competitors. Johnson will report directly to Applebee's president, Mike Archer. Prior to her appointment, Johnson served as chief marketing officer for Blockbuster, Inc. a leading global provider of in-home movie and game entertainment, with over 8,000 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. She is a seasoned marketer with earlier experience as executive vice president and chief global brand development and marketing officer for Brinker International, Inc., one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies which owns or franchises more than 1,900 restaurants in 25 countries. At Brinker, she created marketing and brand strategy development framework for the Company's portfolio of restaurant brands. Previously Johnson held positions with increasing responsibility for PepsiCo, Inc. Her PepsiCo experience culminated in serving as general manager and vice president for Frito Lay, North America, with direct profit and loss accountability and strategic planning responsibility for the profitable growth of the $3.8 billion Doritos and Cheetos business.
"We are excited to have a marketing professional of Becky's caliber join Applebee's," said Mike Archer, Applebee's president. "Throughout her career she has driven profitable growth at leading restaurant and retail brands, I am confident she can do the same for Applebee's as we embark upon a multi-year, multi-faceted strategic revitalization of the brand."
Johnson earned a bachelor of arts in marketing and finance from Dallas Baptist University, and is a graduate of the advanced management program at Harvard University.
Applebee's Services Inc. and its affiliates, franchise and operate restaurants under Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and is a DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN) brand. As of September 30, 2008, there were 1,997 Applebee's restaurants operating system-wide in 49 states, 17 international countries and one U.S. territory, of which 480 were company-owned. Additional information on Applebee's can be found at the company's website (www.applebees.com).
There are forward-looking statements contained in this news release. They use such words as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "plan," or other similar terminology. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. The Company cautions evaluation of such forward-looking information in the context of factors discussed from time to time in the news releases, public statements and/or filings by the Company's parent, DineEquity, Inc., with the Securities and Exchange Commission, especially the "Risk Factors" sections of Annual and Quarterly reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q. Forward-looking information is provided by the Company pursuant to the safe harbor established under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and should be evaluated in the context of these factors. In addition, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.