Lenny to retire from c.e.o of The Hershey Co.

by Eric Schroeder
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HERSHEY, PA. — Richard H. Lenny, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Hershey Co., announced his intent to retire at the end of the year. Mr. Lenny, 55, was elected president and c.e.o. in March 2001, adding the title of chairman in December 2001. Hershey said the search for Mr. Lenny’s successor is under way.

"My years at Hershey have been extremely rewarding as I’ve been honored to lead a dedicated and engaged organization," Mr. Lenny said. "During this time, we undertook major challenges, all focused on building a strong foundation for the benefit of all our stakeholders. I’m extremely proud of my Hershey colleagues and all that they have accomplished. I also want to thank our board of directors for its keen insights, support, and guidance over the past several years.

"The long-term prospects for our category and particularly for our company remain promising. I look forward to working closely with my successor so that the transition to new leadership will be effective and seamless."

Mr. Lenny is a veteran of the grain-based foods industry. Prior to joining Hershey in 2001, he was head of the Nabisco Biscuit and Snacks Group at Kraft Foods Inc.

Prior to the acquisition of Nabisco in July 2000 by Philip Morris Companies, Inc., Mr. Lenny had been president of Nabisco Biscuit Co. since 1998. Earlier, he was president of Pillsbury North America at The Pillsbury Co.

He began his career at Kraft in 1977 as a marketing associate and remained with the company until 1995, when he joined Pillsbury. He received a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and a master’s degree from Northwester University.

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