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Philip Morris Gains a New CEO Amid Smoke-Free Transition

George PaulNews
Jacek Olczak

Jacek Olczak. Image credit: Philip Morris International

Philip Morris International has made a significant change at the top of its leadership structure as Jacek Olczak has become its new CEO following the company’s 2021 Annual Shareholders Meeting. Olczak, who had served as the cigarette company’s COO takes over from André Calantzopoulos, who has transitioned into an Executive Chairman role.

As CEO, Olczak is committed to accelerating the company’s smoke-free transformation with the goal of half its net revenues stemming from smoke-free products by 2025.

Since 2016, the tobacco giant has been working on developing and commercializing smoke-free products, with the aim of replacing cigarettes as soon as possible. This goal is becoming increasingly important as regulators continue to crack down on smoking products. For instance, in April 2021, the FDA announced it would advance efforts to ban menthol cigarettes in the US.

“I am humbled and excited to lead PMI as we accelerate our transformation into a smoke-free company,” Olczak said in a press release. “We will lean into our scientific research and expertise, using our collective skills and imagination to innovate beyond our existing portfolio and explore new areas of business development.”

While Olczak, who has been with Philip Morris since 1993, was COO he increased the portion of its net revenues derived from smoke-free products to 28% in Q1 2021 and grew the presence of its smoke-free products from 0 to 66 markets.

“Jacek is ideally placed to deliver PMI’s smoke-free vision in his new role as CEO,” Calantzopoulos added. “I believe he is the ideal leader to ensure our business’s continued growth and deliver shareholder value. I look forward to continuing to work with him in my new capacity as Executive Chairman of the Board.”

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