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IHOP's Stewart Adds Title of Chief Executive

April 26, 2002|MARC BALLON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Julia A. Stewart has been named chief executive of IHOP Corp., which runs the International House of Pancakes chain.

Stewart, one of the highest-ranking women in the restaurant industry, became heir apparent to head the Glendale-based firm after her appointment as president and chief operating officer in December. She succeeds Richard K. Herzer, 70, who will remain chairman.

In her four months with the company, Stewart, 46, visited hundreds of restaurants to get a hands-on view. She plans to develop a strategy over the next few months for growing the chain, which has posted double-digit profit and sales growth in the last five years.

"It's just a matter of looking under every rock and seeing what we can do better and doing it," said Stewart, who assumes CEO duties May 3.

IHOP said Thursday that first-quarter profit rose 31% to $9.8 million, or 46 cents a share, from $7.5 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 16% to $81.5 million.

IHOP gained 39 cents to $34.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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