HERSHEY, PA. — J.P. Bilbrey, currently senior vice-president, president of Hershey North America, has been elected executive vice-president, chief operating officer, effective immediately. He will be responsible for Hershey’s day-to-day operations and global commercial activities, leading the company’s supply chain as well as realigned geographic regions, including the United States, the Americas and Asia.

Mr. Bilbrey also will lead two newly created global strategic business units. The chocolate unit and sugar confection unit will be responsible for building and leveraging Hershey’s global brands, creating confectionery marketplace innovation and disseminating best demonstrated practices around the world, Hershey said.

“J.P. has an extensive record of success in delivering global growth and in building successful teams at Hershey,” said David West, president and chief executive officer. “In this new role, J.P. will ensure that we continue our unrelenting focus on building on our competitive advantage in the U.S. while at the same time we focus on developing other international markets. We will continue to make the investments that will enable us to build scale in key growth markets such as China and Mexico. This new structure will enable Hershey to build formulas for repeatable success in our global markets. J.P.’s global experience and knowledge of our business will ensure that more and more consumers around the world will come to recognize the quality and fun represented by Hershey’s brands.”

Prior to his current position, Mr. Bilbrey was senior vice-president, president Hershey International, where he was responsible for directing the company’s international businesses and the execution of its global strategy. He joined The Hershey Co. in 2003 from Mission Foods, where he was senior vice-president. Before joining Mission Foods, he was president and c.e.o. of Danone Waters of North America, Inc., a division of Groupe Danone. Additionally, he spent 22 years at The Procter & Gamble Co., where he began his career as a sales representative.