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HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Hershey Co. named John P. Bilbrey as its new president, chief executive officer and a director of the company, effective immediately. He was named interim president and CEO in May.
"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 of the board of directors. "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, "It is a unique privilege to lead The Hershey Co. Hershey has iconic brands, exceptional people, unmatched capabilities and enormous potential. 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 continued. "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 percent and 6-to-8 percent objectives, respectively.
"I want to thank the employees of The Hershey Co. for their support, commitment and hard work," said Bilbrey. "There has never been a better time to be part of the Hershey team. I look forward to working together to realize the opportunities ahead of us."
Bilbrey has more than 30 years of global consumer packaged goods experience. Prior to being appointed Hershey's interim president and CEO, he was named COO in November 2010 with responsibility for day-to-day global operations and commercial activities, leading the company's supply chain and geographic regions including the United States, the Americas and Asia.
From December 2007 to November 2010, he was senior vice president, president of Hershey North America. Bilbrey played a key leadership role in the business' turnaround, 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, president of Hershey International.
Before joining Hershey, he held executive positions at Mission Foods and Danone Waters of North America Inc., a division of Groupe Danone, Paris, France. 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 and numerous international assignments.