Atkins will lead the chocolate company’s legal, government relations, and corporate secretary functions, and he will report directly to Hershey’s CEO Michele Buck. He will also serve as a member of the company’s executive committee.
“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 positivity impact business results.”
Hershey said Atkins was most recently general counsel and corporate secretary for Panasonic Corporation of North America, where he managed the company’s full litigation portfolio, including commercial litigation, and led global legal teams in several multijurisdictional Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and antitrust investigations, lawsuits and claims.
Commenting on his new role, Atkins said, “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.
“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,” he added.