The lead independent director on The Hershey Co. board said he will not seek re-election in 2017 after eight years of service to the chocolate company.
The director, James E. Nevels, will step down as of the company’s next annual meeting, scheduled for May 3, according to a regulatory filing by the Derry Township-based company.
The filing said his departure was based on personal reasons, not any disagreements with the company and its operations, policies or practices.
Nevels also is on the board of the Hershey Trust Co. But under an agreement between the trust and the state Attorney General, he is expected to step down from that board by the end of this year.
Nevels, who had spent time as chairman of The Hershey Co.’s board, is the second high-level departure announced by the company over the last week. Hershey president and CEO John P. Bilbrey said last week he plans to retire in July.
Nevels, 64, joined the Hershey board in 2007 and served as non-executive chairman from 2009 to 2015.
“I am fully confident that after nearly a decade of service, the time is right for me to move on to other pursuits,” Nevels said in a statement. “This decision provides the board with the continued opportunity to select diverse and experienced members who can help guide the company through its next phase of growth and consumer-centric brand building.”
An attorney, Nevels is founder and chairman of The Swarthmore Group, an investment firm in Philadelphia.