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Hershey names David West as new CEO

BY Allison Cerra

HARRISBURG, Pa. The Hershey Co. board said Tuesday that another former Nabisco executive will replace Richard Lenny as the leader of the nation’s largest candymaker.

David West, Hershey’s chief operating officer, was named company president and a director, effectively immediately, and will become chief executive on Dec. 1, the board said in a statement. The move came a day after Lenny announced he was stepping down as chief executive following six years at Hershey.

“Dave is a very strong leader with an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of Hershey’s business,” company director Robert Campbell said in the statement.

Lenny, who was the first chief executive officer hired from outside Hershey, will remain as chairman through the end of the year, when Campbell will take over, the company said.

Soon after Lenny left Nabisco for Hershey in 2001, he hired West to join the confectionary to come up with a marketing plan. West became Hershey’s chief financial officer in 2005 and chief operating officer in January.

Hershey’s stock fell $1.63 a share, or 3.4 percent, to $45.78 in trading Tuesday.

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Kimberly-Clark expands trial of Kleenex, Scott Naturals products

BY Tara Smith

Dallas Kimberly Clark Corporation announced Tuesday that it is expanding its consumer trial of Kleenex Naturals brand facial tissue and Scott Natural brand bathroom tissue and paper towels, which contain a mix of high-quality, post consumer recycled fiber and new fiber.

Kleenex Naturals contain 20 percent recycled fiber whereas Scott Naturals’ bathroom tissue contains 40 percent and paper towels have 80 percent.

Initially made available in select Wal-Mart stores in late 2006, the Naturals brand line will be available in additional Wal-Mart stores, some K-Mart stores and online at Amazon.com and Drugstore.com starting this month.

“We have been pleased with the success of our consumer trial so far and are now making these innovative products available to more shoppers,” said Gordon Knapp, Kimberly-Clark president of North Atlantic Family Care products.

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Kraft to sell Fruit20 and Veryfine brands to Sunny Delight

BY Tara Smith

NORTHFIELD, Ill. Kraft Foods Inc. announced Wednesday that it will sell Veryfine juice and Fruit2O brands to Sunny Delight Beverages Co., a leader of juice drinks in North America. In addition to the brands, the transaction includes specific manufacturing equipment, a manufacturing facility in Littleton, Mass and about 200 employees who will join Sunny Delight. In 2006, Fruit2O and Veryfine had net revenues of about $135 million.

“For Kraft, we believe we will create greater long-term shareholder value by selling, rather than investing in, these brands [Fruit2O and Veryfine],” said Rick Searer, Kraft Executive Vice President and President of Kraft North America.

Kraft will record a one-time, pre-tax asset impairment charge of $125 million in the third quarter in anticipation of the sale. The sale is expected to conclude in the fourth quarter.

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