Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. names new CEO

Gum and candy manufacturer Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company elected William D. Perez as president, CEO and a member of the board of directors. Perez is the first person outside of the Wrigley family to be appointed for the role.

Bill Wrigley, Jr., who had been serving as chairman, president and CEO, was elected as executive chairman and will continue as chairman of the board of directors.

Perez spent 34 years with SC Johnson, including eight years as president and CEO. In 2004, he joined Nike, Inc., as president and CEO until earlier this year.

In his new role as executive chairman, Bill Wrigley, Jr. will focus on the development of long-term strategy, continued emphasis on innovation and fostering a culture of high performance and generational growth.

"To continue to effectively drive our dynamic and highly competitive global company, I firmly believe this is the right time to divide the top leadership responsibilities between two people, particularly given today's commercial and governance climate," said Bill Wrigley, Jr.

"This approach will enable us to divide and conquer the many responsibilities inherent in running this organization and further leverage our many competitive advantages to build long-term value for our shareholders. Our entire Board of Directors wholeheartedly endorsed my recommendation to bring Bill on as CEO and I look forward to sharing a strong working partnership with him."

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