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John Willis

Executives on the Move: The Week of October 17th – 21st

by John Willis | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

October 24, 2016 | No Comments »

Here are just a few of the interesting executive changes making headlines over this past week:

CEO to Kiss Hershey Good-bye

Famed confectioner The Hershey Company announced a week ago that president and CEO John Bilbrey had given about eight months’ notice that he will be stepping down in mid-2017. Bilbrey has been on the job since 2011 and also holds the chairman’s post, which he will retain after dropping the executive position. He has been with Hershey for more than a dozen years (previous titles were SVP, EVP, and COO) and worked for over two decades at other consumer-goods companies, mainly Procter & Gamble and Danone. Hershey has already created a search committee to look for Bilbrey’s replacement.

Caterpillar Loads New CEO Next Year

Another CEO change in the mix for 2017 will take place at renowned earthmover Caterpillar. At the new year, Doug Oberhelman will retire but keep his chairman’s role for another three months. He’s been at the helm for six years and worked at Caterpillar for virtually his entire career. Oberhelman’s replacement was announced the same day; he’s Jim Umpleby, who’s been a group president for energy and transportation for three years and has focused on the solar turbine industry since the 1980s. When Oberhelman gives up the chairmanship in April, his place will be taken by director Dave Calhoun.

Visa Slides Out One CEO for Another

Giving about six weeks’ advisory, the CEO at Visa, Charlie Scharf, indicated he’ll be resigning at the end of November. The financial-transaction processor had his successor, Alfred Kelly, ready to be announced right away. Scharf was in the top spot for four years and had served as a company director before that, as well as made a career at other financial companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank One, and Citigroup. Kelly copies Scharf’s experience of becoming CEO after putting in time on the board (more than two years). He will actually begin phasing into the top-exec role at the end of this month. Kelly just spent eight months as CEO of media firm Intersection Company and before that was with Visa rival American Express for more than 20 years, including as president.

Look for more Executives on the Move next week!


John Willis has been an editor at Hoover’s/Dun & Bradstreet for more than two decades. He mainly polishes up others’ writing but occasionally adds, then edits, his own words in Executive on the Move blog posts.


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