Hershey Sweetens Global Leadership Team

Published in CSP Daily News

Alfonso named EVP, CFO, CAO; Buck named SVP, CGO; Wege named SVP, CCO

Bert Alfonso

HERSHEY, Pa. -- J.P. Bilbrey, president and CEO of The Hershey Co., has announced changes to the Hershey global leadership team.

Bert Alfonso has been named executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer. Alfonso, who joined Hershey in 2006, was named senior vice president and chief financial officer, in 2007. He will have responsibility for Hershey's finance, mergers and acquisitions, integrated business planning functions, information services and global shared services.

"Bert is a proven leader with extensive international experience," Bilbrey said. "He will provide focused leadership to our business development and M&A activities as we pursue opportunities that will drive long-term growth. In addition, Bert's extensive knowledge of our business will enable Hershey to build and leverage processes and capabilities to enable global growth."

Michele Buck has been named senior vice president and chief growth officer. Buck, who joined Hershey in 2005, was previously senior vice president and global chief marketing officer. In this role, she will have responsibility for Hershey's strategy and vision, innovation, research and development, The Hershey Experience, consumer insights and public affairs. She will report to Bilbrey.

"Michele will lead Hershey's long-term global growth efforts, furthering a strategy that fully leverages Hershey's intellectual capital in areas such as consumer and shopper insights," Bilbrey said. "Michele's experience in marketing and her record of delivering sustainable innovation will be crucial to Hershey's long-term success as we expand our research and development capabilities to support our global growth."

Mike Wege has been named senior vice president and chief commercial officer. Wege, who joined Hershey in 2002, was previously senior vice president of the chocolate strategic business unit. In his new role, he will lead the company's chocolate and sweets and refreshment strategic business units, with responsibility for building and leveraging Hershey's global brands and disseminating best demonstrated practices around the world. Wege will also lead Hershey's global sales and marketing centers of excellence.

"Mike has led the activation of our largest brands and has consistently delivered growth across Hershey's portfolio," Bilbrey said. "His in-depth knowledge of our brands and our business will be crucial as we extend our world-class marketing and sales capabilities into key global growth markets."

"We have a world-class leadership team that will ensure continued focus on North American momentum while at the same time providing the experience and leadership to accelerate global growth and innovation," Bilbrey said. "The team has a proven record of collaborating and working with a sense of urgency to deliver results."

James E. Nevels, chairman, said, "The global leadership team brings together talented Hershey leaders with a long and distinguished history of consumer packaged goods experience in the United States and international markets. The team will focus on continuing the transformation of Hershey into a global company. This structure also enables J.P. to maintain his strong visionary and operational focus across the company to achieve and enhance shareholder value."

Hershey is the largest producer of chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Based 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.