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JC Penney CMO Mary Beth West to Join Hershey as Chief Growth Officer

The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) tapped Mary Beth West as its new Senior Vice President and Chief Growth Officer, effective May 1st. Previously, West served as exec VP-chief Customer and Marketing Officer at JC Penney.

Before JC Penney, she led multi-billion dollar businesses and marketing at Mondelez International, Inc., previously Kraft Foods, including roles as its Chief Category & Marketing Officer and President of both its North American beverage and grocery businesses.

In her role at Hershey, she will oversee the company’s growth strategy including Insights and Analytics, Strategy, marketing excellence functions, Innovation, Research and Development, Mergers and Acquisitions, and The Hershey Experience. She will report to Chief Executive Officer Michele Buck.

“Mary Beth will be a great addition to our executive team,” said Buck, in a statement. “She is an accomplished business leader who is considered one of the best food executives and marketers in the industry. Her deep experience in growing some of the world’s best-known consumer brands and demonstrated ability to transform consumer engagement will be a tremendous asset to Hershey as we chart our growth agenda.”

According to JC Penney, a search is underway for Ms. West’s successor—she will remain with the brand until March 31.

“Mary Beth played an instrumental role in the company’s return to profitability and was a key asset to the leadership team,” read a company statement by JC Penney. “However, she has decided to relocate to the Northeast where she and her family will be closer to relatives and she can pursue a new opportunity with one of the world’s most iconic food brands. JC Penney is grateful for her dedication and service, and we wish her well in all future endeavors.”