HERSHEY, Pa.  (Food-News.net)  The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY):

  • New structure to leverage competencies for global growth
  • Strengthens regional focus with additional resources
  • Augments confectionery consumer insights, innovation capabilities

The Hershey Company Elects J.P. Bilbrey Chief Operating OfficerDavid J. West, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY), today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has elected J.P. Bilbrey Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Bilbrey, currently Senior Vice President, President Hershey North America, will continue to report to West.

Bilbrey brings 30 years of consumer packaged goods experience in the United States and international markets to this newly created role. He will be responsible for Hershey’s day-to-day operations and global commercial activities, leading the Company’s supply chain as well as realigned geographic regions, including the U.S.A., the Americas and Asia. Bilbrey will also lead two newly created global strategic business units (SBU). The Chocolate SBU and Sugar Confection SBU will be responsible for building and leveraging Hershey’s global brands, creating confectionery marketplace innovation and disseminating best demonstrated practices around the world.

“J.P. has an extensive record of success in delivering global growth and in building successful teams at Hershey,” West said. “In this new role, J.P. will ensure that we continue our unrelenting focus on building on our competitive advantage in the U.S. while at the same time we focus on developing other international markets. We will continue to make the investments that will enable us to build scale in key growth markets such as China and Mexico. This new structure will enable Hershey to build formulas for repeatable success in our global markets. J.P.’s global experience and knowledge of our business will ensure that more and more consumers around the world will come to recognize the quality and fun represented by Hershey’s brands.”

“The Company is experiencing strong performance,” said James E. Nevels, Chairman of the Board. “But we will not rest on our laurels. This new structure will enable Dave West to have more focus on the strategic and business development initiatives that will ensure Hershey delivers disciplined global expansion while it maintains its current momentum. The new structure also strengthens our regions and enables us to more fully leverage our brands around the world. J.P. will lead the international rollout of our consumer demand landscape, ensuring that best practices and resources are shared globally.”

Bilbrey is currently Senior Vice President, President Hershey North America. In this position, he is responsible for leading Hershey’s U.S. and Canadian businesses. Bilbrey played a key leadership role in the Company’s turnaround since the creation and implementation of the Company’s consumer demand landscape as well as in establishing Hershey’s presence in markets around the world.

Prior to his current position, Bilbrey was Senior Vice President, President Hershey International, where he was responsible for directing the Company’s international businesses and the execution of its global strategy.

Bilbrey joined The Hershey Company in 2003 from Mission Foods, where he served as Senior Vice President. Before joining Mission Foods, he was President and Chief Executive Officer, Danone Waters of North America, Inc., a division of Groupe Danone, Paris, France. In this position, he was responsible for all operations of Groupe Danone’s North American water division. Additionally, he spent 22 years at The Procter & Gamble Company where he began his career as a Sales Representative. He served in positions of increasing responsibility in both the U.S. domestic business as well as international assignments. He has broad international experience and has lived and worked in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

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