After serving as The Hershey Co.’s chairman and ceo from 1994 to 2001, and as non-executive chairman since November 2007, Kenneth L. Wolfe resigned last month. Wolfe decided to step down after the Hershey Trust Co., trustee of the Milton Hershey School Trust and the company’s controlling stockholder, requested that he not stand for re-election at Hershey’s annual meeting of stockholders this coming April 30. In a release, Hershey said that the Trust wanted to elect one of its representatives on the board to serve as chairman of the board, which is consistent with the company’s historic governance model.

James E. Nevels has since been elected the new non-executive chairman of the board. Nevels has been a member of the board since November 2007. He also is a director of Tasty Baking Co., the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Hershey Trust and chairman and founder of The Swarthmore Group, a minority-owned investment-advisory firm. Additionally, Nevels will be the first African-American chairman of the board in Hershey’s history.

“Ken Wolfe came out of retirement to serve the company he loves, at an hour when his service was greatly needed,” Nevels said. “Ken has helped to stabilize the company’s performance and to establish a foundation for future growth, and the entire board is deeply grateful for his service. I aspire to mirror Ken’s excellence in his service to the board, the company and all its shareholders. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board and with the company’s management to execute our strategic plan and build upon our recent improving marketplace and financial performance.”