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Hershey Co. CEO to step aside next year

Hershey Co. CEO John P. Bilbrey, who was named CEO in 2011, will retire in July of next year, the Hershey Co. said Friday.

He will remain on the Derry Twp.-based chocolate company’s board however, as non-executive chairman of the company. The company’s board has appointed a special committee to search for a replacement for Bilbrey.

“I have had the privilege of working in consumer packaged goods for more than 35 years and leading The Hershey Co. has been the highlight of my career,” Bilbrey said in a statement. “Our iconic brands, remarkable employees and commitment to making a difference in the world has made this a difficult decision for me. But now is the right time to begin the process of handing over the reins as CEO as it will allow me to spend more time with my family and wonderful grandchildren.”

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