NEW YORK -- André Calantzopoulos was appointed chief executive officer of Philip Morris International Inc. effective Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Calantzopoulos was also nominated for election to the Board of Directors at the annual meeting that same day.
He has served as PMI’s chief operating officer since the company’s spin-off on March 28, 2008. Louis Camilleri, PMI’s current chairman and CEO, will remain as chairman of the board and as an employee of the company.
Since the spin-off, Camilleri and Calantzopoulos have worked closely together in their respective roles as CEO and COO. Under their combined leadership, PMI has solidified its position as the largest and most profitable international tobacco company, while expanding its global market share, excluding China and the USA, to a record 28.8% in 2012, according to the company.
André CalantzopoulosLucio A. Noto, PMI’s independent presiding director, said: “Louis has assembled and led a tremendous team, as demonstrated by PMI’s outstanding performance as an independent public company. His close working relationship with André as they shared responsibility for leading the company, together with André’s many achievements on the operational side of the business, make this decision the culmination of a rigorous and well executed plan of succession.”
Tobacco stock analysts Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo Securities LLC, New York, said of the transition, “We feel confident in André's ability to lead PM into its next generation of growth. … We believe André brings a broad base of experience, including playing an instrumental role in the new Marlboro brand architecture, as well as new product development and consumer engagement initiatives that have helped to drive market share.”
PM is not replacing the COO role after Calantzopoulos assumes the CEO role.
Camilleri has been with PMI and its former parent company for 11 years and said the company is “squarely poised for future success.”
“I am delighted to hand over the management responsibility of the company to André. He is well equipped, and the company is well positioned, to continue to deliver superior shareholder value,” he said. “He has played an instrumental role in numerous key initiatives, including critical innovative developments such as the new architecture that has revitalized the Marlboro brand, new product development and revamped consumer engagement activities that drove our broad-based market share gains in both OECD and non-OECD markets.”
As chairman of the board of PMI, Camilleri will assist the CEO in long-term strategy, serve as the CEO’s sounding board and continue to fulfill the duties of chairman of the Board of Directors. Noto will continue his key role as the independent presiding director of the company. Calantzopoulos will have the management responsibility for the company and will report to the full Board of Directors.
“I am deeply honored that Louis and the board have the confidence in me to continue to build on PMI’s tremendous success,” Calantzopoulos said. “I am particularly grateful to Louis for his mentorship over a long period of time, during which I have always been deeply impressed with his passion for the company, his critical and insightful analysis and vision, his regard for each PMI employee, and his devotion to the integrity and transparency of communications to investors and to enhancing shareholder value. He has set the standard by which all future leaders of PMI will be judged.”
Prior to the spin-off, Calantzopoulos, 55, served as PMI’s president and CEO since 2002. He joined the company in 1985 and worked extensively across Central Europe, including as managing director of PM Poland and president of the Eastern Europe Region. André earned a degree in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and an MBA from INSEAD in France.
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is the leading international tobacco company, with seven of the world’s top 15 international brands, including Marlboro, the No. 1 cigarette brand worldwide.