| March 23
March 23 Hershey Co and the trust that
control it disclosed on Thursday they would fill positions on
their respective boards following a year marked by an
acquisition overture from Mondelez International Inc
and a series of resignations.
Chocolate maker Hershey rejected a $23 billion bid last
summer from Oreo cookie owner Mondelez, as the Hershey Trust,
which can veto a deal, was embroiled in a row with its overseer
that resulted in departures at the trust and Hershey's board.
The Hershey Trust is adding James Katzman, a retired Goldman
Sachs Group Inc partner, to its ranks, bringing onboard a
seasoned investment banking professional at a time when
investors are speculating over whether Hershey would entertain a
new offer in the near term following Mondelez's approach.
Also joining as Hershey trustees are Melissa
Peeples-Fullmore, a Milton Hershey School alumnus and education
professional, and Jan Loeffler Bergen, a trained social worker
and chief executive officer of non-profit health provider
Lancaster General Health.
Hershey disclosed it was nominating two new members to its
board, Diane Koken and James Brown, who also sit on the Hershey
Trust board. Michele Buck became Hershey's new CEO on March 1.
The Hershey Trust was set up by Hershey founder Milton
Hershey over a century ago to fund and run a school for
underprivileged children. After being criticized by its
overseer, the Pennsylvania attorney general, for poor governance
and excessive expenses and compensation, it struck an accord
that led to three board resignations last year.
Two of the retiring Hershey Trust board members - Robert
Cavanaugh and James E. Nevels - also held positions on the
Hershey board and were not nominated for reelection this year.
In its agreement with the attorney general, the Hershey
Trust said it will use its "best effort" to increase board size
to 13, up from nine at the time of the accord. With two more
board members set to retire at the end of this year, that leaves
a total of six potential slots left to be filled.
The Hershey trust owns close to a third of Hershey, but the
company accounts for more than two-thirds of its investment
It put up Hershey up for sale in 2002, citing a need to
diversify its investments. The process attracted a $12.5 billion
offer by chewing gum maker Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. But that deal was
abandoned after the Pennsylvania attorney general successfully
petitioned a court to block the offer amid opposition from the
(Reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Leslie