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HERSHEY, Pa. -- David J. West, president and CEO of The Hershey Co., announced yesterday that its board of directors elected J.P. Bilbrey executive vice president and COO, effective immediately.
"J.P. has an extensive record of success in delivering global growth and in building successful teams at Hershey," West said in the statement. "In this new role, J.P. will ensure that we continue our unrelenting focus on building on our competitive advantage in the U.S., while at the same time we focus on developing other international markets. We will continue to make the investments that will enable us to build scale in key growth markets, such as China and Mexico. This new structure will enable Hershey to build formulas for repeatable success in our global markets. J.P.'s global experience and knowledge of our business will ensure that more and more consumers around the world will come to recognize the quality and fun represented by Hershey's brands."
Bilbrey, formerly senior vice president, president Hershey North America, played a key leadership role in the company's turnaround since the creation and implementation of Hershey's consumer demand landscape and establishing its presence in global markets. Bilbrey brings 30 years of consumer packaged goods experience in the U.S. and international markets to his new role. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and global commercial activities, and will also lead two newly created global strategic business units (SBU) -- The Chocolate SBU and Sugar Confection SBU, the company said.
"The company is experiencing strong performance. But we will not rest on our laurels," said James E. Nevels, chairman of the board. "This new structure will enable Dave West to have more focus on the strategic and business development initiatives that will ensure Hershey delivers disciplined global expansion while it maintains its current momentum. The new structure also strengthens our regions and enables us to more fully leverage our brands around the world. J.P. will lead the international rollout of our consumer demand landscape, ensuring that best practices and resources are shared globally."
The company pointed out three key points about the new structure:
• It will leverage competencies for global growth;
• Strengthen regional focus with additional resources; and
• Augment confectionery consumer insights, innovation capabilities.