The Hershey Co. has tapped its president for North America to serve as the chocolate giant’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The new role for Michele Buck takes effect immediately, a statement released today indicated.
Buck, 54, will continue to report to John P. Bilbrey, Hershey’s chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer.
“Michele has worked closely with me for the past eight years as a partner and collaborator on the global growth strategies we are now pursuing,” said Bilbrey.
“She is a seasoned and trusted executive who consistently delivers results. Her combination of industry, retail and consumer knowledge uniquely qualifies her to drive Hershey’s operating priorities,” he said.
Buck brings more than 25 years of consumer packaged goods experience to the new role, company officials said.
In her most recent post, she led Hershey’s U.S. and Canadian businesses, which account for more than 85 percent of the company’s annual revenue.
While Buck will continue to lead Hershey’s day-to-day North American operations, she also will oversee Hershey’s operations in Central and South America. The company’s global supply chain, sales, marketing, innovation, research and development, and consumer and shopper analytics and insights capabilities will also now report to Buck.
“I have tremendous confidence in Michele’s ability to build on Hershey’s competitive advantages with leading practices and new technologies and tools that will extend Hershey’s market leadership into the next generation,” Bilbrey said.
Buck also has served as the company’s senior vice president, chief growth officer – where her primary focus was creating and driving transformational growth -and senior vice president, global chief marketing officer.
Prior to joining Hershey in 2005, Buck served 17 years at Kraft/Nabisco in numerous senior positions and at the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo.
As CPBJ reported last year, Buck was one of the top-earning female executives in the midstate.
She serves on the board of directors at New York Life, and as a benefit co-chair for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. A native of central Pennsylvania, she earned a bachelor’s degree at Shippensburg University and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.