CHICAGO — Richard H. Lenny, a past top executive at Hershey Foods Co. and Nabisco Biscuit Co., has been named chairman of the board of directors of Information Resources, Inc. (I.R.I.), a Chicago-based market research firm. He succeeds Lawrence Benjamin, who will remain a member of the board and a senior adviser.
Mr. Lenny most recently was operating Partner of Friedman, Fleischer & Lowe, L.L.C., a private equity firm, since January 2011. Earlier, he was chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Hershey Co. from 2002-2007. Prior to Hershey, Mr. Lenny was president of Nabisco Biscuit Co. When acquired by Kraft Foods Inc. in 2000, he was named group vice-president of Kraft Foods and president, Nabisco Biscuit and Snacks.
Mr. Lenny joined Nabisco in 1998 from the Pillsbury Co., where he was president of Pillsbury, North America. Prior to this, he spent 18 years at Kraft Foods Inc., where he held a number of senior marketing and sales positions.
Mr. Lenny is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing, magna cum laude, and a master’s degree with honors in marketing and finance from Georgia State University.
He is on the board of directors of McDonald’s Corp., Discover Financial Services, and ConAgra Foods, Inc. He earlier served on the board of directors of Sunoco, Inc. and was also chairman of the board of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and chaired its executive committee.
“Rick brings to I.R.I. an impressive background, including more than three decades of experience in the consumer packaged goods arena, and we are thrilled to have him picking up the torch and helping us drive our ‘Growth Delivered’ strategy forward,” said Andrew Appel, president and c.e.o. of I.R.I. “His experience with the client side of our business and resounding track record of leadership success will provide unique perspective to help us accomplish our most critical objectives and exceed our clients’ expectations.”