blu eCigs Appoints Raporte as President

Healy stepping down to focus on company's marketing, product development efforts

Jim Raporte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Electronic cigarette maker blu eCigs has named Jim Raporte as its new president. Raporte will work closely with blu eCigs founder and previous president Jason Healy, who has chosen to step down as president and hand over the reins of the company he created in 2009 to Raporte to focus on the company's creative marketing and product development efforts.

"I am very excited to hand over the company I built only four years ago to Jim and move to a consulting role in product development and marketing," said Healy, founder of blu eCigs. "Jim has tremendous experience in a wide range of businesses that will help our sensational team ensure the continued success of the blu eCigs brand."

With more then 30 years of experience across tobacco, food and business services industries, Raporte will lead blu eCigs' functional operations and help drive the company's transition from an emerging startup to a large-scale second-generation company.

Lorillard Inc. acquired Charlotte, N.C.-based blue eCigs in April 2012, advancing the growth opportunity represented by the e-cigarette category. Today, blu eCigs holds can be found in more than 80,000 retail locations in addition to online.

Most recently, Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard reported first-quarter 2013 net sales for blu eCigs totaling $57 million, the company said.

"From the ground up, blu eCigs has successfully established itself as a leading image-based lifestyle brand in the rapidly expanding electronic cigarette category," said Raporte. "I am excited about the opportunity to continue building on the strength of the brand as we further scale operations to meet growing customer and retail demand--while partnering with Jason Healy to continue building technology innovation, creative marketing and ongoing customer-centric support that has made blu eCigs a true game-changer."

blu eCigs e-cigarettes offer the look and feel of traditional cigarettes without the tobacco smoke, ash or smell. Because they mimic the physical act of smoking, said the company, blu eCigs offer a realistic alternative to tobacco cigarettes, creating a vapor "puff" that evaporates within seconds. blu eCigs come in convenient disposables or rechargeable packs for regular use, with or without nicotine, and in a variety of flavors.