Hershey hires ex-Panasonic exec as SVP
The Hershey Company has named Damien Atkins as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary.
Atkins brings 20 years of legal experience into his new role and was most recently General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Panasonic Corporation of North America.
“I am excited to join a company with such iconic brands and a deep sense of purpose and social responsibility embedded in its commercial operations,” said Atkins. “Hershey has a strong leadership team and is on an exciting journey to grow its business as a snacking powerhouse. I look forward to playing a role in supporting that growth story and being part of Hershey’s long-term success.”
Damien’s role within the Hershey Company will include leading Hershey’s legal, government relations, and corporate secretary functions. He will report directly to Michele Buck, President and Chief Executive Officer. He also will serve as a member of the company’s Executive Committee, a team of the company’s most senior leaders.
“Damien is a thoughtful and inspiring leader who has a strong record of success throughout his legal career,” said Buck. “He is business-focused and knows how a legal function can support a company’s strategic objectives and positively impact business results. He will be a terrific addition to our executive team.”
Atkins began his legal career in 1998 as a corporate associate at Chadbourne & Parke (now known as Norton Rose), an international legal firm.
Atkins serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association; Habitat for Humanity, Newark; Rutgers Law School Center for Corporate Law and Governance; and is Vice-Chair for the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School. He was also named General Counsel of the Year in 2016 by the New Jersey Business Journal, Corporate Counsel of the Year in 2017 by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, and Diverse Attorney of the Year in 2015 by the New Jersey Law Journal.
The Hershey Company is headquartered in Hershey, Pa., and employs approximately 17,000 people around the world. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive more than $7.5 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers.