John Bilbrey steps in as Hershey's interim president, CEO

HERSHEY, Pa. — Hershey's leader is bidding the confectioner farewell, the company announced Wednesday.

David West, who has worked at Hershey for 10 years and serves as its president and CEO, is leaving his post to become CEO of Del Monte. The candy maker's board of directors appointed EVP and COO John Bilbrey to serve as the company's interim president and CEO.

Bilbrey joined Hershey in 2003 as SVP and president, Hershey International.

“We’re pleased that J.P. has accepted this position,” Hershey board chairman James Nevels said. “He has worked closely with the board for several years and has been involved in all aspects of the company’s strategy and operations. The board has seen firsthand his leadership and expertise and unanimously made this appointment. We will work quickly to name a permanent chief executive officer to ensure the continuation of this orderly transition."