Stan Sword is the chief people officer of Applebee’s International, Inc., the world’s largest casual dining concept, based in Overland Park, Kansas. Sword is responsible for system-wide human resource (HR) initiatives, including employment practices, training and development, performance management, organizational and executive development, and compensation and benefits for the company’s 32,000 associates nationwide. In addition, Sword provides HR leadership for the company’s franchisees and their restaurant associates.
Sword joined Applebee’s in August 2005. Prior to coming to Applebee’s, Sword served as president of the Great Lakes division for Cerner Corporation, the world’s leading supplier of healthcare information technology. He started with Cerner Corporation as chief people officer in 1998, helping reduce the company’s turnover by nearly 60 percent, sustained overall associate satisfaction at more than 85 percent and twice helped land Cerner’s on Fortune Magazine’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
Sword is past chair of the Clay County (Missouri) Economic Development Council, a member of the Dean’s Business Council of the University of Illinois and a supporter of various philanthropic organizations in the Kansas City area.
Sword received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois. He and his wife, Tracy, live in Overland Park, Kansas, with their four children.