Darren Rebelez left his post as president of IHOP in 2019 to helm Casey’s General Stores Inc., embarking on a massive transformation that has reimagined nearly every aspect of the Ankeny, Iowa-based convenience-store chain’s business.
It is thanks to those transformative efforts that CSP has named Casey’s CEO and President Rebelez its 2024 Retail Leader of the Year.
“In his modest ways, Darren is arguably the most impactful CEO in the c-store channel today,” Mitch Morrison, CSP’s event content director and vice president of retailer relations, said. “Less than five years ago, Darren took the reins of a successful company and completely reinvented it, making Casey’s one of the most food-focused, enterprising and lucrative companies in the c-store industry.”
Morrison added: “He has refreshed Casey’s brick-and-mortar portfolio, launched our channel’s most impressive omnichannel platform and continued evolving the guest experience at the fifth-largest pizza chain. At the same time, he has created a leadership team that celebrates diversity in work experiences, geographic backgrounds, race, gender and thought. We at CSP/Informa are elated to celebrate Darren Rebelez as our 2024 Retail Leader of the Year.”
In December, Casey’s reported record high EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the first six months of its fiscal year. Inside same-store sales rose 11% on a two-year, stacked basis, thanks to strong performance in prepared food (especially its fast-growing pizza program) and dispensed beverage.
Casey’s operates more than 2,600 convenience stores in 17 states. The retailer has previously said it intends to add at least 150 more stores to its roster in 2024.
Under Rebelez’s leadership, Casey’s has expanded its geographic footprint through acquisitions, especially in the last year.
- Casey's General Stores Inc. is No. 3 on CSP's 2023 Top 202 ranking of convenience-store chains by store count.
Rebelez joined Casey’s in June of 2019, following four years with casual dining restaurant chain IHOP. Before IHOP, he served as executive vice president and COO at 7-Eleven. Rebelez also spent six years in leadership posts at ExxonMobil.
CSP will celebrate Rebelez’s leadership and achievements with family and friends at a formal dinner and award presentation during the NACS Show in Las Vegas in October. Click here for more information.
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