Altria Group Unveils New Structure

Tobacco maker separates core business, innovation; also creates ‘growth officer’ role

RICHMOND, Va. -- In a move to accelerate the growth of its noncombustible reduced-risk products, major tobacco manufacturer Altria Group Inc. has announced two major reorganization steps:

  • First, it will structurally divide its business into two segments, what it calls its “core” tobacco business and its “innovative” tobacco business.
  • Second, it created a new position of chief growth officer, who “will identify and pursue Altria’s strategic and innovative growth priorities across the tobacco landscape,” the company said.

K.C. Crosthwaite

Growth Officer

K.C. Crosthwaite was appointed senior vice president and chief growth officer of Altria Client Services LLC (ALCS), having served as president and CEO of Philip Morris USA (PM USA) for the past year. Before that, he was vice president of strategy and business development for ALCS and vice president and general manager of Marlboro for PM USA.

“This is a dynamic time in the tobacco industry, and just as we lead in traditional tobacco products, we intend to lead in offering adult smokers more choices in innovative, noncombustible reduced-risk products,” said Howard Willard, chairman and CEO of Richmond, Va.-based Altria. “We expect this new structure to accelerate our innovation pipeline, maximize our core tobacco businesses and allow us to continue to reward shareholders.”

Core Business

Jody Begley

PM USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. (USSTC), John Middleton Co. and Nat Sherman will form the company’s core tobacco business. Jody Begley, in his new role as senior vice president of tobacco products for Altria, will oversee those tobacco businesses, as well as their product development and engineering support. Begley had been president and general manager of Altria’s Nu Mark (e-cigarette) subsidiary since 2015.

Leaders of the separate core businesses within Begley’s new division will be Heather Newman as the new president and CEO of PM USA; Shannon Leistra, president and CEO of USSTC; Ryan Bauersachs, managing director and general manager of Middleton; and Dominik Meier, managing director and general manager of Nat Sherman.

Innovation Company

Brian Quigley

Then at Nu Mark, which will be Altria’s primary innovation company, leadership will focus on developing a portfolio of noncombustible products and have the potential to drive adult smoker conversion from cigarettes. This portfolio includes oral nicotine-containing products, e-vapor and inhalable products, the company said.

Brian Quigley will lead Nu Mark as its new president and CEO. He will oversee the innovative-products business, reporting to Willard. Quigley had been president and CEO of USSTC since 2012.

Altria is a Fortune 200 company whose wholly owned subsidiaries include PM USA, USSTC, Middleton, Nat Sherman, Nu Mark, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. and Philip Morris Capital Corp. Altria’s brand portfolios include Marlboro, Black & Mild, Copenhage, Skoal, MarkTen and Green Smoke.

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