RALEIGH, N.C. -- A former Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) executive has been named CEO of U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Inc. (USTC), a grower-owned marketing cooperative.
Robert Fulford Jr. assumed his new role Feb. 1 after being vice president of leaf operations for RAI, Winston-Salem, N.C., and holding several senior-level positions at R.J. Reynolds and Brown & Williamson.
“After thorough review and a comprehensive search process, the board is pleased to have found the best individual to assume leadership of our organization,” said Andrew Shepherd, chairman of the USTC board. “Robert has a track record of strong leadership. That, combined with his deep industry knowledge, makes him uniquely qualified to lead USTC successfully into the future.”
“Robert is the best choice for us,” said Ed Kacsuta, CFO of USTC. “He’s been a successful executive and, more importantly, he’s a great fit with our culture and core values. We’re delighted that he has accepted the position.”
According to the company, Fulford reflects USTC’s current outlook “as an organization that continues to transform and develop as a world-class leaf and consumer products organization.”
Fulford will have responsibility for the day-to-day activities of the organization as well as the development and implementation of annual, long-term and strategic plans. Fulford brings a solid mix of leadership, inspiration, operational experience and passion for tobacco growers with him to the USTC organization, the company said.
USTC is a grower-owned marketing cooperative based in Raleigh, N.C. The cooperative processes U.S. flue-cured tobacco grown by its 700 member growers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Member tobacco is processed and sold as raw materials to cigarette manufacturers worldwide.