HERSHEY, PA. — Damien Atkins has been named senior vice-president, general counsel and secretary for the Hershey Co., effective Aug. 13. In his new role, Mr. Atkins will lead legal, government relations and corporate secretary for functions for Hershey, as well as serve as a member of the company’s executive committee.

“I am excited to join a company with such iconic brands and a deep sense of purpose and social responsibility embedded in its commercial operations,” Mr. Atkins said. “Hershey has a strong leadership team and is on an exciting journey to grow its business as a snacking powerhouse. I look forward to playing a role in supporting that growth story and being part of Hershey’s long-term success.”

Mr. Atkins joins Hershey from Panasonic Corp. of North America, where he was most recently general counsel and corporate secretary. Before Panasonic, he was senior vice-president, deputy general counsel, corporate and chief compliance officer for AOL, Inc. Mr. Atkins began his legal career as a corporate associate at Chadbourne & Park law firm, now known as Norton Rose.

“Damien is a thoughtful and inspiring leader who has a strong record of success throughout his legal career,” said Michele Buck, president and chief executive officer of the Hershey Co.  “He is business-focused and knows how a legal function can support a company’s strategic objectives and positively impact business results. He will be a terrific addition to our executive team.”