Swisher International Names New President & CEO

Promotes Ghiloni to succeed Ryan, who is retiring on January 1

Peter Ghiloni

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Swisher International Inc. has announced the scheduled retirement of Tom Ryan, the company's president and CEO, a position he has held since 2004. William Ziegler, chairman of the Swisher International board, said that upon Ryan's retirement on December 31, he will be succeeded by Peter Ghiloni, the company's senior vice president of marketing.

"In the eight years that Tom has lead Swisher, he has demonstrated an amazing ability to maintain focus on the company's bottom line while ensuring the delivery of quality products," said Ziegler. "He has also built a corporate culture of teamwork and camaraderie within the organization that is unique in business today. The Swisher family and our board are truly grateful for his dedication and leadership."

Ryan began his career in the industry in 1967. He was serving as president of the Helme Tobacco Co. when it was acquired by the American Maize Products Co., which owned Swisher International Inc. in 1986. Helme and Swisher operated separately until 1994 when the two companies merged and Ryan was named executive vice president of marketing and sales.

During his tenure at Swisher the company demonstrated consistent growth, expanding facilities and product lines, increasing market share and improving financials.

An industry veteran, Ghiloni began his career in the tobacco business with the United States Tobacco Co. in 1972. In 1983, he moved to Helme as vice president of marketing, and in 1991 he was promoted to senior vice president of sales and marketing. Following the merger of Swisher and Helme, Ghiloni assumed the role of senior vice president of marketing for the combined company.

"I'm honored by the trust that the board has placed in me, and while no one can truly replace Tom, I look forward to taking both my industry experience and what I have learned from him and other dedicated Swisher employees to move this company forward," Ghiloni said. "While our industry faces many interesting challenges, I also see great opportunity and I'm optimistic about where our team can take this company."

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Swisher International is a leading tobacco manufacturer whose cigars, filtered cigars and smokeless tobacco brands include some of the largest-selling cigar brand in the world--Swisher Sweets, as well as King Edward, Optimo, BlackStone and BLK large cigars; Swisher Sweets, King Edward, Sante Fe and BlackStone filtered and little cigars; Mail Pouch, Chattanooga Chew, Starr, Bowie and Lancaster chewing tobaccos, Silver Creek, Kayak and Redwood moist snuff, and Navy and Railroad Mills dry snuff.