Business briefs: IHOP chief executive criticized 

When Glendale-based IHOP Corp.’s (IHP) chairwoman and chief executive, Julia Stewart, took over at the pancake-house operator more than five years ago, she faced the widespread belief she had just doomed her career. Instead, she reinvigorated the almost 50-year-old brand. But she faces the same critical looks today as IHOP proposes to purchase Applebee’s International Inc. (APPB) for $2.1 billion.

Robert Bruss

The nationally syndicated real estate columnist, author and investment adviser has died at his Burlingame home. He was 67. Bruss — known by peers as the "Dear Abby of Real Estate" — suffered from intestinal problems and had surgery earlier this year, but the cause of death remains unclear, Jessica Swesey, editorial and content director for Inman News, said.

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