The Hershey Co. has made John P. Bilbrey its president and chief executive officer, just weeks after he was named interim CEO.

Hershey, John P. Bilbrey, CEO chief executive officer, David West, interim CEO, Del Monte, James Nevels, chocolate, candy

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Bilbrey becomes Hershey's CEO

June 16th, 2011

HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Co. has made John P. Bilbrey its president and chief executive officer, just weeks after he was named interim CEO.

Hershey said late Wednesday that Bilbrey takes over the CEO post and becomes a company director effective immediately.

Previously executive vice president and chief operating officer, Bilbrey in mid-May was appointed chief executive on an interim basis to replace David West, who is leaving the company to become CEO at Del Monte Foods Co.

"It is a unique privilege to lead The Hershey Co. Hershey has iconic brands, exceptional people, unmatched capabilities and enormous potential," Bilbrey said in a statement. "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," he added.

Bilbrey has more than 30 years of global consumer packaged goods experience, according to Hershey. He was named COO in 2010, with responsibility for day-to-day global operations and commercial activities at the chocolate and candy giant, and from December 2007 to November 2010 served as senior vice president of The Hershey Co. and president of Hershey North America.

The company noted that Bilbrey played a key role its turnaround as well as in the creation and implementation of its confectionery demand landscape and establishment of Hershey's presence in markets worldwide. He joined Hershey in 2003 as company 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. and spent 22 years at Procter & Gamble Co., where he served in positions of increasing responsibility in the U.S. domestic business as well as many international assignments.

"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," Hershey chairman James Nevels stated. "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."