NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Chocolate and candy maker Hershey (HSY - Get Report) announced on Friday morning that CEO John Bilbrey intends to retire on July 1, 2017. Following his retirement, Bilbrey will continue as a non-executive chairman of the company's board. Hershey's board has appointed a special committee to look for a new CEO.

Although the company is undergoing a search for Bilbrey's replacement, many believe that COO Michelle Buck is the likely successor, CNBC's David Faber reported this morning on "Squawk on the Street."

Oreo cookie maker Mondelez (MON) attempted over the summer to acquire the maker of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but abandoned its pursuit in late August after the company rejected its $23 billion cash and stock offer. There were issues relating to Hershey's controlling shareholder, the Hershey Trust Co.

Anybody that takes the CEO job at Hershey will end up in a difficult position, Faber continued.

"It's not your typical CEO job, because you have the trust on one side that essentially controls the company, and you've got your shareholders on the other and their aims are not aligned," Faber said.

Shares of Hershey are up in mid-morning trading today.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate HERSHEY CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: HSY