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Michele Buck Appointed President and CEO of The Hershey Company, effective March 1, 2017

HERSHEY, Pa., Dec. 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Michele Buck, currently the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, as Hershey’s next President and Chief Executive Officer effective March 1, 2017. She will succeed John P. Bilbrey, who previously announced his intention to retire from the company. Bilbrey will continue as Non-Executive Chairman of Hershey’s Board of Directors following his retirement as President and CEO.

Michele Buck named next CEO of The Hershey Company


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/cdedee5c-59a5-4396-9ea2-252063acccd8

“Michele is a proven leader who, during 11 years at Hershey and more than 25 years as an executive in the consumer packaged goods industry, has a demonstrated track record of building brands consumers love while bringing out the best in employees amid a rapidly changing business environment,” said Bilbrey. “She has consistently displayed a keen sense for how to grow our iconic brands. The unanimous vote by the board is a testament to the confidence we have in Michele as the next leader of this great company,” he said.

“As the board contemplated the right strategic leader for the next great chapter in Hershey’s history, it quickly became apparent that Michele offered the right mix of outstanding vision and proven execution to continue taking our company forward,” said Pamela Arway, Chair of the Governance Committee of Hershey’s Board of Directors and chair of the board’s special committee overseeing the CEO succession process.

Since joining the company in 2005, Buck has spearheaded the development and execution of many successful growth initiatives and strategic shifts at the company, most notably Hershey’s substantial growth in its core confection portfolio as it moved from a supply- to demand-driven business model. She was the architect of the company’s strategy to expand into broader snacking categories and oversaw the acquisitions of KRAVE and barkThins brands. She is a proven people leader and a champion of the Hershey culture through her ability to inspire, develop and connect with employees and customers.

“Hershey is an incredibly special company with a rich 120-year history of bringing goodness to the world,” Buck said. “I am honored to be chosen as the next leader of this innovative and pioneering business. The opportunity ahead for Hershey is tremendous, and to take advantage of it will require a clear focus on meeting the evolving needs of consumers while moving quickly to stay ahead of the trends shaping our business,” she said.

“I look forward to working closely with our board and the entire Hershey team to further our vision for 2017 and beyond,” continued Buck. “I also would like to thank JP for his leadership, mentorship and friendship over the last several years. It is an honor to be succeeding him as CEO and I look forward to his continued guidance as chairman of our board.”

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that are “forward-looking” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Because actual results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, you should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements when deciding whether to buy, sell or hold the company’s securities. Factors that could cause results to differ materially can be found in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015. All information in this press release is as of December 21, 2016. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company, headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has approximately 21,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive more than $7.4 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside. Building on its core business, Hershey is expanding its portfolio to include a broader range of delicious snacks. The company remains focused on growing its presence in key international markets while continuing to extend its competitive advantage in North America.

At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For more than 120 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on giving underserved children the skills and support they need to be successful. Today, the company continues this social purpose through 'Nourishing Minds,' a global initiative that provides basic nutrition to help children learn and grow. From neighborhoods across the United States to the streets of Shanghai and Mumbai and villages of West Africa, our goal is to nourish one million minds by 2020.

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The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.

FINANCIAL CONTACT: Mark Pogharian, 717-534-7556 or MEDIA CONTACT: Leigh Horner, 717-508-1247

Source:The Hershey Company