Mary Beth WestThe Hershey Co. has named consumer brand veteran Mary Beth West as its new senior v.p. and chief growth officer.

West, who will join the Hershey, Pa.-based confectionery giant May 1, will oversee the company’s growth strategy, which includes insights and analytics; marketing excellence functions; innovation; research and development; mergers and acquisitions; and The Hershey Experience. She will report to President and CEO Michele Buck.

“Mary Beth will be a great addition to our executive team,” Buck says. “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.”

West brings 30 years of executive and marketing leadership to the company, serving most recently as executive v.p. and chief customer and marketing officer at J.C. Penney Co., Inc. There she was responsible for revitalizing the JCPenney brand.

For more than 20 years West has led multi-billion dollar businesses and marketing at Mondelez International, Inc., previously Kraft Foods, including roles such as chief category and marketing officer, and president of both its North American beverage and grocery businesses.

West has served on the Board of Directors for J.C. Penney. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Hasbro Inc. and the Board of Trustees for both The Wallace Foundation and Mercy Ships. She is also a strong supporter of the Gladney Center for Adoption.

West received a Bachelor of Science in Management from Nazareth College of Rochester and a Master of Business Administration in marketing from Columbia University. Mary Beth will relocate to the Hershey area with her husband and four children.