Hershey Co. Chairman John Bilbrey announced he will retire, effective with the company’s annual meeting on May 2.
Having joined the company in 2003 as president of the company’s International and North America division, Bilbrey was named ceo in 2011 and then chairman in 2015. Prior to Hershey, Bilbrey worked for 22 years at Procter & Gamble Co.
Charles A. (Chuck) Davis, the company’s lead independent director, age 69, will assume the role of chairman following the stockholders meeting.
“As a 38-year veteran within consumer-packaged goods, my greatest honor has been to lead and then support The Hershey Co. management team and board as its chairman,” Bilbrey said. “With the seamless CEO transition last year to Michele Buck and with Chuck Davis as chairman of the board this spring, I know this special company is on the right path as it transforms into an innovative snacking powerhouse.”
Davis expressed the company’s appreciation “…to J.P. [Bilbrey] for his passion, leadership, and dedication to The Hershey Co. J.P. has been instrumental in the growth of the company over the course of the last 15 years. We look forward to working with Michele as she leads the company through its next phase of growth.”
Bilbrey announced plans to retire as Hershey's president and ceo in October 2016, citing plans to spend more time with family. He is succeeded by Michele Buck, who took the company's helm in December 2016.