Bilbrey Named President & CEO of Hershey

Published in CSP Daily News

Interim appointment made official

HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Hershey Co. has announced John P. Bilbrey as president and chief executive officer and a director of the company, effective immediately. He was named Hershey's interim president and CEO in May 2011 after the departure of David West, who is going to Del Monte Foods.

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"J.P. has the experience, deep industry knowledge and the right skills to lead Hershey's growth as it continues to evolve into a global company," said James E. Nevels, chairman. "Over the years, J.P. has built a very effective relationship with the board as well as with the various Hershey communities and constituencies. He has earned the respect of Hershey's customers, employees and stockholders and the confidence of this board. In determining how to best fill this position, the board unanimously concluded that J.P. is the right person to continue as president and CEO and to lead the company into the future."

Commenting on his role, Bilbrey said, "I'm very grateful for the board's confidence, and we are fully aligned on how to move the company forward. Our company is structured for global growth, and I look forward to building on our recent performance, consistent with Hershey's great heritage and values. We're very satisfied with our performance year-to-date, as we continue to grow market share and build on our seasonal leadership. As a result, we're on track to deliver on our financial commitments and expect 2011 net sales, including the impact of foreign currency exchange rates, and adjusted earnings per share-diluted growth, to be around the top of the company's long-term 3% to 5% and 6% to 8% objectives, respectively."

Bilbrey has more than 30 years of global consumer packaged goods experience. Before becoming interim president and CEO, he was named chief operating officer in November 2010, with responsibility for day-to-day global operations and commercial activities, leading the company's supply chain as well as geographic regions, including the United States., the Americas and Asia. From December 2007 to November 2010, he was senior vice president and president of Hershey North America.

He played a key leadership role in the company's turnaround, it said, as well as in the creation and implementation of the company's confectionery demand landscape and establishment of Hershey's presence in markets around the world.

Bilbrey joined Hershey in 2003 as senior vice president and president of Hershey International. Before joining Hershey, Bilbrey held executive positions at Mission Foods and Danone Waters of North America Inc., a division of Groupe Danone, Paris. He was responsible for all operations of Groupe Danone's North American water division. Additionally, he spent 22 years at The Procter & Gamble Co. where he served in positions of increasing responsibility in both the U.S. domestic business as well as numerous international assignments. He has lived abroad and worked in more than 50 countries in North America, Latin America, North Africa and Asia.

Hershey is the largest producer of chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., and with revenues of more than $5 billion, Hershey offers a wide range of confectionery products, including such brands as Hershey's, Reese's, Kisses, Hershey's Bliss, Special Dark, Hershey's Syrup, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, Ice Breakers, PayDay and Jolly Rancher. Hershey also is a leader in the premium and artisan chocolate segments, with such brands as Scharffen Berger and Dagoba, offered through the Artisan Confections Co., a wholly owned subsidiary.