PMI Hires 3 Former FDA Officials

Company makes moves to accelerate its smoke-free future

NEW YORK — Philip Morris International has hired three former U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials to positions to accelerate PMI’s science-based transformation.

Badrul Chowdhury is PMI’s chief life sciences officer for smoke-free products. He succeeds Jorge Insuasty, who will move into the recently created position of president of Vectura Fertin Pharma. PMI bought the Vejle, Denmark-based developer and manufacturer of pharmaceutical products based on oral and intra-oral delivery systems in September 2021.

“I am delighted to welcome Badrul to PMI and look forward to working closely with him as he leads our talented team of scientific experts,” said Jacek Olczak, PMI’s CEO. “He is an accomplished scientist and regulatory strategist, with decades of leadership experience, both in industry and as a regulator within the U.S. FDA’s Pulmonary Division. His wealth of knowledge and experience will be critical to help achieve our ambition of a smoke-free future.”

Chowdhury previously worked at a U.S.-based biotech company developing inhalation products for rare respiratory diseases and at AstraZeneca. He served as director, division of pulmonary, allergy and rheumatology products, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA from 1997 to 2018.  

“The investment the company has already made in delivering high-quality science to support its transformation and smoke-free vision is unprecedented,” Chowdhury said. “I am thrilled to have the chance to help move the company forward faster and to truly seize the public health opportunity that well-regulated smoke-free products present.”

Matt Holman was also hired by PMI as its vice president of U.S. scientific engagement and regulatory strategy. Like Chowdhury, he worked at the FDA for more than 20 years, most recently as director of the office of science at the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP).

“PMI is leading the industry in a major transformation that can ultimately provide an unprecedented breakthrough for public health. I’m excited to make this move and join PMI on its smoke-free journey,” Holman said.

Another new hire to PMI is Keagan Lenihan, who started in May as vice president of government affairs and public policy and head of its Washington, D.C. office. Lenihan spent two decades working in government, corporate and public policy, including as chief of staff at the FDA.

PMI, New York, is an international tobacco company that wants to deliver a smoke-free future. The company has invested more than $9 billion to develop, scientifically substantiate and commercialize smoke-free products for adults, with the goal of completely ending the sale of cigarettes, PMI said. It aims to generate more than half of its net revenues from smoke-free products in 2025.

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