Hershey's CEO John Bilbrey will step down in July. The move comes months after the company rebuffed Mondelez International's offer to buy the candy maker. Fred Katayama reports.
Hershey announced that its chief executive, John Bilbrey, is retiring in July, and that news sent Hershey's shares up on Friday. Bilbrey, who is 60, joined the company in 2003 and became chief executive in 2011. He will stay on as non-executive chairman after his retirement. The company confirmed its full-year outlook, and said it appointed a special committee to search for his successor. Greg Roumeliotis covers the story for Reuters. (SOUNDBITE) GREG ROUMELIOTIS, EDITOR IN CHARGE OF CORPORATE FINANCE, REUTERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Unless they find a new CEO, who can make sure that the stock performs, and continues to pay strong dividends, than, possibly, they might be more inclined to explore a sale in the future." Hershey's shares are nearly 18 percent below their 12-month high hit in June. Bilbrey's retirement comes four months after Hershey turned down Mondelez International's offer to buy the candy maker. Also a few months ago, the charitable trust that controls Hershey reached a major reform agreement with its overseer, the Pennsylvania attorney general's office. That deal could heavily influence Hershey's future.