BURLINGTON, VT. — Dave Stever has been promoted to chief executive officer of Ben & Jerry’s, a subsidiary of Unilever. He succeeds Matthew McCarthy, who recently retired from the company after five years serving as CEO.

A tour guide at the company’s Waterbury, Vt., plant when he first got started in 1988, Mr. Stever has worked for Ben & Jerry’s for nearly 35 years, including the past 12 as chief marketing officer. According to Ben & Jerry’s, Mr. Stever has played a key role in creating partnerships with the Dave Matthews Band, Stephen Colbert, Willie Nelson, Sir Elton John, Jimmy Fallon, Colin Kaepernick, Netflix, Chance the Rapper, Tony's Chocolonely and Ava DuVernay.

Mr. Stever received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree from Saint Michael’s College.

“The board is very pleased with the selection of Dave as Ben & Jerry’s next CEO, and not just because of his passion for our euphoric super-premium ice cream,” said Anuradha Mittal, chairman of the board at Ben & Jerry’s. “Dave’s long history at Ben & Jerry’s, along with his recognition of the integral role that the company’s values and social mission play in our growth and our commitment to advancing justice and equity in the world, make him the best choice to write the next chapter in Ben & Jerry’s remarkable story.”

The company said Mr. Stever’s promotion marks the first time since Ben Cohen stepped down as CEO in 1994 that a staff member was elevated from within to CEO.

“Ben and I have known Dave for over three decades and we are absolutely thrilled that he will be leading Ben & Jerry’s into the next chapter of our company's history, Dave started out 30 years ago as a tour guide,” said Jerry Greenfield, co-founder. “And now he’s CEO. He knows Ben & Jerry’s inside and out. He lives it and breathes it. We are psyched to have someone with Dave’s talent, passion and demonstrated ability as our CEO.”