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HERSHEY, Pa. - Ten board members of the charitable trust that controls Hershey Foods Corp., including seven members who twice voted to sell the candy maker, are leaving the board, The Associated Press reports.
Attorney General Mike Fisher announced Thursday the new board would be smaller, with four new members who live locally, and could help restore the community bonds around the company and the 93-year-old school that is the sole benefactor of the trust.
The departing board members include the seven people who voted both in March and in September -- despite heavy local opposition and a court injunction on a sale -- to sell Hershey Foods.
Trustees met Tuesday and Wednesday at the Hotel Hershey to vote on the changes, which are to be adopted in January.
The board was shrunk from 17 to 11 members, including a majority of six who live in central Pennsylvania, in or near the town of 13,000 residents named after the chocolate magnate and philanthropist Milton S. Hershey.
The four new board members are Raymond L. Gover, former publisher of The Patriot-News of Harrisburg; LeRoy Zimmerman, former Pennsylvania attorney general; Richard H. Lenny, Hershey Foods chief executive; and Velma A. Redmond, chairman of the board of Harrisburg Area Community College.
The board abandoned the sale Sept. 17 in a 10-7 vote, rejecting bids from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. and a joint offer from Nestle and Cadbury about six months after they voted 15-2 to start the search for a buyer.
The trustees said they wanted to sell the company to protect the trust's assets, over half of which are invested in the candy maker.
Public opposition was fierce, and included a "derail the sale" campaign, planting signs on front lawns, rallies and petitions.