- The Hershey Company appointed Deepak Bhatia as its first-ever CTO, the company announced Tuesday. Bhatia will also join the company's executive committee, reporting directly to CEO Michele Buck.
- Bhatia comes to Hershey after a 12-year stint at Amazon, most recently serving as VP of supply chain optimization technologies. In the role, he led the group that owns software engineering, product management and science for Amazon’s core supply management functions, according to his LinkedIn profile.
- In the new role, Bhatia will lead the company’s global technology strategy, architecting and deploying digital capabilities to meet the needs of consumers, retail partners and employees.
Hershey is currently investing heavily in its digital infrastructure amid technology-related projects, such as an ERP implementation that will replace the company’s existing operating and financial systems.
"We are investing in our people and digital capabilities to strengthen our infrastructure and scale across our growing supply chain and business units," Buck said in the announcement.
The company’s unallocated corporate expense in Q2 2023 surpassed $171 million, increasing 6.9% or $11 million year-over-year, due to investments in technology and capabilities, according to the earnings report in July. The company’s selling, marketing and administrative expenses also increased partly due to the investments, according to the company.
As the ERP implementation unfolds, Hershey has closely tracked the financial impact of the overhaul, which began in 2018. The digital infrastructure upgrade is set to stretch into 2024 and the company expects the ERP to enable employees to work more efficiently and effectively once it's completed.
At the same time, the company is working to expand data and analytics techniques to gain deeper insights into its business environment, digital transformation drivers and supply chain, according to its annual report to stockholders, delivered in May.
"As we continue to double down in this area, Deepak has the expertise needed to successfully lead our technology strategy leveraging end-to-end data, analytics and automation to elevate our employee experience, create commercial value and advance our leading snacking powerhouse vision,” Buck said.