Hershey Co. chairman John P. Bilbrey will retire from the company's board this spring, with lead independent director Charles Davis taking over the role. Bilbrey, 61, previously served as president and CEO of the company and was elected to the Hershey board of directors in 2011. He will continue to serve as chairman of the board for the remainder of his term.
Davis will assume the role of chairman following the stockholders meeting in May. “As a 38-year veteran within my greatest honor has been to lead and then support the Hershey 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.”
Based in Hershey, Pa., the global confectionery leader has been diversifying its product line beyond chocolate of late, and recently purchased Amplify Snack Brands, the Texas-based maker of SkinnyPop popcorn and Oatmega protein bars. Net sales last year grew by 1 percent, despite a fourth-quarter decline of 1.6 percent.
“J.P. has been instrumental in the growth of the company over the course of the last 15 years," said Davis. "We look forward to working with Michele as she leads the company through its next phase of growth.”