CHICAGO — The Blommer Chocolate Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Oil Holdings, has announced Peter W. Blommer will step down as chief executive officer and take on the new role of vice chairman beginning Aug. 1. The move is part of a planned succession plan for North America’s largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier.

In his new role, Blommer will continue to support strategy development, represent the company on the boards of the World Cocoa Foundation and the National Confectioners Association, and provide historical perspective and advice to management and the board of directors.

Nao Rokukawa, chairman of the company, will become interim CEO while a search is conducted for Blommer’s successor, the company said. The search for a new CEO is expected to begin in early fall.

“I want to thank Peter for his dedication and leadership as CEO, and for agreeing to continue to work with us in the role of vice chairman to advise us in our efforts moving forward,” Rokukawa said. “I simply do not have enough words to express Peter’s contribution to the overall industry. I am proud and honored to lead this great company after him, even as in an interim role.”

Blommer joined the company in 1991 as plant manager of the Union City, Calif., facility. He was named chief operating officer in 2003 and president and CEO in 2009. Prior to joining the company, he worked in investment banking and, later, in strategic planning and business analysis for the Dole Food Co. He also served as chairman of the National Confectioners Association in 2015-17.

“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to help build Blommer into the revered global brand it is today,” he said. “What makes Blommer special is our talented and committed team, who work with passion and integrity to serve our customers. It has been an honor and privilege to work with such a dedicated team as well as with our customer and industry partners over the past 31 years. I look forward to continuing to support the industry and Blommer’s path forward in my new role.”