After six years, Hershey Trust CEO steps down to pursue new opportunities

The Hershey Trust Co. is looking for a new leader.

Eric Henry, the trust’s CEO and CIO, has resigned after six years at the helm to pursue other professional opportunities, the trust said in a statement Monday.

The Derry Township-based trust is the largest stockholder of chocolate giant The Hershey Co. and owns Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co., which manages Hersheypark. Income from the trust supports the Milton Hershey School

The trust has launched a nationwide search to find a new CEO. In the interim, Jan Bratton, director of investing for public markets at the trust, will serve as interim CIO. She has been with the trust since 1989.

After joining the trust in February 2012, Henry helped grow the trust’s endowment from $9 billion to about $13.5 billion. Last summer, the trust sold 4.5 million shares of Hershey stock to support the school.

The growth of the endowment has enabled the school to grow from 1,850 students to 2,050.

And more growth is in the future. The school is nearing completion of its North Campus, which will allow it to expand to 2,300 students by the 2022-23 school year.

“On behalf of the entire board, I’d like to thank Eric for his service to the trust and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Robert C. “Bob” Heist, the chair of the trust’s board of directors.

In addition to his trust role, Henry also resigned as chair of the board at Hershey Entertainment.

From 2009 to 2012, Henry was the chief investment officer for the United Auto Workers Retirees Medical Benefits Trust, a trust for retired workers of Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group. Prior to that, he held executive roles at Texas Municipal Retirement System and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, among others.

Jason Scott
Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com.

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