US confectionery giant Hershey said today (2 November) announced plans to revamp how it organises its business – with two new global divisions and the appointment of a chief operating officer.

Hershey has set up two strategic business units – or SBUs – one for chocolate and the other for sugar confectionery.

J.P. Bilbrey, senior vice president within Hershey’s North American business, has been named COO and, among his duties, will be lead to the two SBUs.

Chairman James Nevels said the revamp would allow president and CEO Dave West to focus on strategy and business development.

“The company is experiencing strong performance but we will not rest on our laurels,” Nevels said. “This new structure will enable Dave West to have more focus on the strategic and business development initiatives that will ensure Hershey delivers disciplined global expansion while it maintains its current momentum.

“The new structure also strengthens our regions and enables us to more fully leverage our brands around the world. J.P. will lead the international roll-out of our consumer demand landscape, ensuring that best practices and resources are shared globally.”

Bilbrey has spent seven years at Hershey and has led the company’s divisions in North America and overseas. His career includes roles at Mission Foods, Danone and Procter & Gamble.

West said Bilbrey will help Hershey “build its competitive advantage” in the US and develop overseas. West again cited plans to expand in China and Mexico.

“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.”