Altria creates organizational, leadership changes

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Altria Group Inc. announced Tuesday a new structure the company says will allow it to maximize its tobacco businesses while growing its noncombustible products, like e-cigarettes.

The new structure includes:

  • Establishment of two divisions – core tobacco and innovative tobacco products;
  • Creation of a chief growth officer to accelerate speed to market for innovative products and technologies; and
  • Alignment of 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, noncombustible, reduced-risk products,” Howard Willard, Altria’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We expect this new structure to accelerate our innovation pipeline, maximize our core tobacco businesses and allow us to continue to reward shareholders.”

Altria’s core tobacco division will include Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., Middleton and Nat Sherman, a luxury cigarette and cigar business.

Jody Begley, as senior vice president, tobacco products, will oversee the core tobacco businesses, as well as their product development and engineering support.

Leading those businesses will be:

Heather Newman, president and CEO, Philip Morris USA

Shannon Leistra, president and CEO, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co.

Ryan Bauersachs, managing director and general manager, Middleton
Dominik Meier, managing director and general manager, Nat Sherman

Begley has been president and general manager of Nu Mark since 2015. He brings to this role 23 years of experience in sales, marketing and strategy from Altria companies.

Nu Mark, Altria’s innovation company, will focus on developing a portfolio of noncombustible products, including oral nicotine-containing products, e-vapor and inhalable products.

Brian Quigley, as president and CEO of Nu Mark, will oversee the innovative products business. Quigley has been president and CEO of U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. since 2012.

K.C. Crosthwaite has been appointed senior vice president and chief growth officer, Altria Client Services LLC (ALCS). Crosthwaite has been president and CEO of Philip Morris USA for the past year. He joined Philip Morris in 1997.

These changes will be effective June 1.

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