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Former Hershey CEO named IRI chairman

Veteran CPG industry executive Richard Lenny was named chairman of the board at Information Resources, Inc., filling the position previously held by Lawrence Benjamin who will remain on the board.

Lenny previously served as chairman, president and CEO of The Hershey Company and also served as group vice president of Kraft Food and president of Nabisco Biscuit and Snacks. Prior to that he was president of Pillsbury, North America and spent 18 years with Kraft prior to that.

“Rick (Lenny) brings to IRI an impressive background, including more than three decades of experience in the consumer packaged goods arena, and we are thrilled to have him picking up the torch and helping us drive our ‘Growth Delivered’ strategy forward,” said IRI president and CEO Andrew Appel. “His experience with the client side of our business and resounding track record of leadership success will provide unique perspective to help us accomplish our most critical objectives and exceed our clients’ expectations.”

Lenny also serves on the boards of McDonald’s Corporation, Discover Financial Services and ConAgra Foods, Inc. He is a past chairman of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and previously served on the board of Sunoco, Inc.
Lawrence Benjamin, who spent the past two years as IRI’s chairman, will remain on the board and serve as a senior advisor, according to Appel.

“I am deeply appreciative to Larry for his personal guidance, tremendous contributions to IRI and his continued involvement on the board and support of the business,” Appel said.  “During the past two years, Larry has made a significant impact on our business through his tireless energy and passionate focus on our retailer and manufacturer clients.”