Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company's President & Chief Executive Officer, William F. Simpson, Jr., Retiring 2018
HERSHEY, PA. July 5, 2016 - The Board of Directors of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (HE&R) announced today the retirement of President and Chief Executive Officer, William F. Simpson, Jr., effective January 5, 2018.
“With more than 20 years of dedicated service to HE&R, Bill’s commitment to this Company and the greater mission of providing value to the Milton Hershey School will certainly leave a lasting legacy. It goes without saying that Bill’s leadership will be sorely missed,” said Eric Henry, Chairman of the HE&R Board of Directors. “After leading the HE&R team to unprecedented success, Bill has HE&R very well positioned for continued growth and success in the future.”
Simpson was elected to the HE&R Board in December of 2011 and became the Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2013. Under Simpson’s guidance, the Company experienced record growth and operational results, which resulted in the payment of the largest dividends in the Company’s history to the Milton Hershey School.
“It has been such a tremendous honor for me to be a part of this remarkable team and outstanding organization, and I am grateful for the support, faith and confidence that the Board has placed in me over the years,” said Bill Simpson. “I feel especially fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated group of people, and to work for a Company whose core purpose is to help children in need.”
Consistent with the process that has been established by Simpson and the HE&R Board of Directors, the Company has initiated the succession plan procedure for the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer. It is anticipated that the search will include both internal and external candidates.
“Having a well thought out, highly effective succession plan for our entire organization has been an important area of emphasis for me during my time with HE&R,” continued Simpson. “I look forward to continuing to lead the Company and being actively involved in this transition over the next year and a half."
“We want to thank Bill for working with the Board in developing this thoughtful timeframe for his retirement,” said Henry. “Allowing us to have this extended period of time will provide the Board with ample opportunity to identify the right person to build on Bill’s foundation of success and transition that individual into this leadership role.”
Simpson’s career includes over 40 years in the hospitality and service industries, during which he has demonstrated the importance of building outstanding teams and developing people.
“Bill displays such a passion for servant leadership and for helping people to grow and develop to their highest potential. It is a quality that distinguishes him from many other leaders,” said Henry.
Simpson began his career with HE&R in 1996 as the General Manager of the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center (now known as Hershey Lodge). He became Vice President of the Entertainment Group in April 2002 and oversaw the operation of the Hersheypark Entertainment Complex. In April 2010 Simpson was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, then to the role of President in November 2010.
Simpson plans to continue to stay active in the Hershey community after his retirement.
“My family and I love being a part of this special community and we look forward to enjoying HE&R’s world-class properties, but just as regular guests,” said Simpson. “At the heart of it, we are huge supporters of Hershey and this destination. I couldn’t envision a better way to conclude my professional career than by working with this group of people to serve our guests, our community and Mr. Hershey’s greatest legacy - the Milton Hershey School.”
About Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts and its subsidiaries own and/or operate the Hersheypark Entertainment Complex, Hersheypark Arena & Stadium, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, Hershey Bears AHL Hockey Club, Giant Center, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hersheypark Camping Resort, Hershey Golf Collection, Hershey Nursery, and Hershey Laundry. For more information about Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, please visit www.HersheyPA.com.