Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co. has a new CEO.

The company's board of directors on Wednesday announced it named William F. Simpson, Jr. to the post, upon the retirement of current CEO Ted Kleisner.

Simpson, who is currently the company president and chief operating officer, will begin the new role Jan. 1.

He has worked for the company since 1996 when he served as the general manager of the Hershey Lodge.

"Bill's passion for encouraging people to develop to their highest potential is a quality that sets him apart from many other leaders. His 17 years of expertise and successful service to our company makes him the right person to take the organization into its next chapter," Kleisner said.