Hershey's CEO John Bilbrey plans to retire next year

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 14, 2016 10:55 AM

Photo by Jeremy Long, Lebanon Daily News

The Hershey Company officially opened up its 19 East office building in downtown Hershey on Thursday. The site was Milton Hershey's original chocolate factory.

(New York) -- The Hershey Company says CEO John Bilbrey plans to retire from the chocolate company next year. 

The news comes less than two months after Oreo cookie maker Mondelez ended talks to buy Hershey, in a deal that would have brought together some of the world's best known chocolate and snack brands.

Hershey makes Reese's peanut butter cups, Kisses and other chocolates and candies. 

Bilbrey will retire on July 1, 2017 and stay on as a non-executive chairman.

The 60-year-old was named CEO five years ago and joined the Hershey, Dauphin County-based company 13 years ago. 

Hershey says its board has created a special committee to direct the CEO search process.

The committee will review internal and external candidates.  

Shares of The Hershey Co. gained 66 cents to $96.31 in morning trading.

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