Hershey Getty Scott Olson/Staff/Getty Images News

Hershey names next president, CEO

The Hershey Co.’s EVP and COO Michele Buck has been named president and CEO, effective March 1, 2017. She will succeed a retiring John Bilbrey, who will continue on as executive chairman of the board after his retirement.

“Michele is a proven leader who, during 11 years at Hershey and more than 25 years as an executive in the consumer packaged goods industry, has a demonstrated track record of building brands consumers love while bringing out the best in employees amid a rapidly changing business environment,” said Bilbrey in a statement. “She has consistently displayed a keen sense for how to grow our iconic brands.”

Since joining the company in 2005 Buck (pictured) has spearheaded and developed Hershey’s substantial growth in its core confection portfolio as it moved from a supply to a demand-driven business model. She also created the company’s strategy to expand into broader snacking categories and oversaw the acquisition of Krave and BarkThins brands.

“Hershey is an incredibly special company with a rich 120-year history of bringing goodness to the world,” Buck said in a statement. “I am honored to be chosen as the next leader of this innovative and pioneering business. The opportunity ahead for Hershey is tremendous, and to take advantage of it will require a clear focus on meeting the evolving needs of consumers while moving quickly to stay ahead of the trends shaping our business.”

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