Altria Group restructures

| May 23, 2018

The Altria Group yesterday announced a new structure ‘to maximize its core tobacco businesses while realizing its aspiration to be the US leader in authorized, non-combustible, reduced-risk products’.

In a note posted on its website, Altria said that the key components of the new structure included:

  • Establishing two divisions – core tobacco and innovative tobacco products;
  • Creating a chief growth officer function to accelerate speed to market for innovative products and technologies; and
  • Aligning product development efforts more directly to the core and innovative tobacco product businesses.

“This is a dynamic time in the tobacco industry, and just as we lead in traditional tobacco products, we intend to lead in offering adult smokers more choices in innovative, non-combustible, reduced-risk products,” said Howard Willard, Altria’s chairman and CEO.

“We expect this new structure to accelerate our innovation pipeline, maximize our core tobacco businesses and allow us to continue to reward shareholders.”

Altria said it would adapt its structure from one where a chief operating officer oversaw all operating companies to a structure aligned with the company’s dual strategies – maximizing income from core tobacco businesses and growing new income with innovative tobacco products.

PM USA, USSTC, Middleton, and Nat Sherman will form Altria’s core tobacco division.

‘Jody Begley, as senior vice president, tobacco products, Altria, will oversee the core tobacco businesses, as well as their product development and engineering support,’ the note. ‘He will report to Billy Gifford, vice chairman and CFO.’

Leading those businesses will be:

  • Heather Newman, president and CEO, PM USA;
  • Shannon Leistra, president and CEO, USSTC;
  • Ryan Bauersachs, MD and general manager, Middleton; and
  • Dominik Meier, MD and general manager, Nat Sherman.

Meanwhile, Altria said that its innovation company, Nu Mark, would focus on developing a compelling portfolio of non-combustible products that adult smokers enjoyed and that had the potential to drive adult smoker conversion. ‘This portfolio includes oral nicotine-containing products, e-vapor and innovative inhalable products,’ the note said.

‘Brian Quigley, as president and CEO, Nu Mark, will oversee the innovative products business, reporting to Howard Willard.’

At the same time, Altria said it had established a chief growth officer function that would ‘identify and pursue Altria’s strategic and innovative growth priorities across the tobacco landscape’. ‘This function will identify marketplace and adult tobacco consumer insights and translate them into strategies for product development, consumer engagement, future of commerce and business development,’ it said.

‘K.C. Crosthwaite is appointed senior vice president and chief growth officer, Altria Client Services LLC (ALCS), reporting to Howard Willard.’

The changes are due to go into effect on June 1.

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Category: Breaking News, Corporate, Next-generation products, OTP, People, Technology, Vapor

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