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Hershey Names Bilbrey Interim Chief

Posted On: 5/24/2011

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Hershey, John P. Bilbrey, David J. West, Del Monte Foods, vending, vending business, confections

HERSHEY, PA -- The Hershey Co. announced that John P. Bilbrey, the company's executive vice-president and chief operating officer, has been named interim president and chief executive. Bilbrey replaces David J. West, who is leaving the publicly traded chocolate company after 10 years to run privately held Del Monte Foods.

Hershey chairman James E. Nevels said the maker of Hershey's, Reese's and Kit-Kat is working quickly to find a permanent chief executive. People close to Hershey say Bilbrey will emerge as the best candidate for the permanent job.

Bilbrey was named Hershey's COO in 2010, assuming responsibility for the candy giant's day-to-day global operations and commercial activities and leading its supply chain. Prior to that, he was Hershey senior vice-president and president of Hershey North America.

The pro tem chief joined the company in 2003 as senior vice-president and president of its international business. Earlier in his career, he held executive positions at Mission Foods and Danone Waters of North America Inc. He also spent 22 years at Procter & Gamble Co.