Hershey said Chief Executive J.P. Bilbrey will retire from his post in July, as the candy maker works to adapt to changing consumer tastes.
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The move comes just months after Oreo cookie maker Mondelez International Inc. ended its pursuit of the chocolatier after its latest acquisition offer was rebuffed, ending a takeover campaign.
Mr. Bilbrey joined Hershey in 2003 and became chief executive in 2011. He will remain chairman and the company said it would launch a search for its next CEO.
Chocolate and candy sales in the U.S. have been pressured by the health-and-wellness push. To adapt, Hershey recently introduced dried meat bars, made from dried meats and a combination of other ingredients such as mangos, cranberries and quinoa.
The company also reaffirmed its full year outlook.
Shares of the company, which have risen 1.4% in the past 12 months, were inactive premarket.
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