The Hershey Co. has lost its top lawyer and diversity champion Damien Atkins, who has stepped down due to family illness. 

Before he officially resigns Jan. 31, Atkins “will focus on the transition of his responsibilities,” Hershey announced Tuesday in a brief statement. The company has tapped deputy general counsel James Turoff to step up as acting GC during the internal and external search for Atkins’ successor.