Hershey CEO J.P. Bilbrey to leave post

Hershey appoints special committee to find next CEO as incumbent to leave on July 1, 2017. ©iStock/tupungato

The Hershey Company has announced John P. Bilbrey will retire from his role as CEO and president, but he will continue as non-executive chairman of the Board.

It comes after the company rejected a $23bn takeover bid from rival Mondelēz International earlier this year.

Bilbrey will vacate his current position on July 1, 2017. Hershey has begun the search for his successor.

2016 forecast maintained

The company has reaffirmed its outlook for the full year specified in its Q2 results and continues to expect 2016 net sales to increase around 1%.

This was a downgrade from its 1.5% growth forecast made when announcing its Q1 results in April.

Bilbrey – who became CEO in May 2011 - said it had been a difficult decision, but he wanted to spend more time with his family.

He has been with Hershey 13 years in various roles including COO and president, North America. Before joining Hershey, he held positions at Danone, Mission Foods and Proctor & Gamble.

Special committee

The Hershey Board has appointed a special committee to search for the new CEO, led by the chair of Hershey's governance committee Pamela Arway.

The committee will explore internal and external candidates with help from executive search firm Egon Zehnder.

Hershey Trust

Bilbrey's departure comes as the Hershey Trust - which has 80% voting rights in Hershey – is facing change.

Earlier this year, the Trust said five of nine board members would step down by 2018 under an agreement with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (AG).

It followed criticism of spending patterns by board members. The Board will consist of at least 13 members under the AG deal.

Bilbrey is not a Trust board member, but is non-executive chairman of The Hershey Company board.

Related News

Hershey's North America net sales grew 3.8% in Q4, while its international segment declined 0.5% due to struggling Chinese market. ©iStock/Terryfic3D

Hershey bets on multi-textural snacking and Chinese e-commerce for growth

Terry Thomas, President AAK USA, Inc. and Anne Mette Olesen, Chief Marketing Officer, AAK AB, cut the ribbon to officially open AAK’s AAKtion Lab in Edison, New Jersey.  Photo: AAK

Hershey looks to upgrade chocolate confectionery lab upon visiting AAK’s new innovation center

Hershey said it would expand Sourcemap's product coverage in the future based on consumer feedback.  Photo: Hershey

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups among Hershey’s first brands to test Sourcemap

The WSJ recently broke the news that Mondelēz has partnered with a Chicago-based headhunter to look for a new CEO to replace Irene Rosenfeld.  Photo: ©iStock/Jirsak

Mondelēz and Bazooka Candy announce North America leadership changes

Hershey feeling consequences of delayed transition from American to international business, claims analyst

Hershey sees international glitch driven by China's weak chocolate appetite

Hershey looks to put pressure on Mondelēz's Lacta and Nestlé's Garoto

Going for bronze: Hershey eyes third spot in Brazil’s chocolate market by 2020

Hershey says difficult spell spurred by competition from non-confectionery snacks and reduced shopping trips. Photo:iStock - Terry Wilson

Hershey remains positive as stock rating downgraded

Changes at the top for Lindt and Hershey. Photo: iStock/CreativaImages

Lindt appoints new CEO; Hershey names COO

Deal would create world’s largest candy company, say analysts

No PayDay: Hershey rejects Mondelēz $23bn takeover approach

Hershey Trust must have 13 board members eventually.  Five out of nine current members will step down under AG agreement..©iStock/tupungato

Mondelēz may make second Hershey bid as five Trust members to leave

Hershey taps birthday sales with Kisses and Reese’s SKUs. Hershey’s Kisses Birthday Cake Candies in 10 oz. bags for SRP $3.54 pictured.

Birthday Cake Kisses and Reese's wands: Hershey expands seasonal offer

Hershey's net sales rise for the first time this year ©iStock/tupungato

Hershey reports Q2 growth, continuing to target ‘snackfection’ trend

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.