Turning Point Brands Appoints New President, CEO

Efremov to succeed Larry Wexler
Turning Point Brands new president and CEO Yavor Efremov
Photograph courtesy of Turning Point Brands

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Turning Point Brands Inc. (TPB) appointed Yavor Efremov as president and CEO of the company, effective Jan. 11. Efremov will succeed Larry Wexler, who will retire after 18 years at TPB.

TPB is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded consumer products, including alternative smoking accessories and consumables with active ingredients. Efremov joined the company’s board of directors in July 2021 to help develop its long-term strategic plan.

“During my time as a board member, I have been impressed by the company’s prospects across all divisions,” Efremov said. “In my new role as CEO, I look forward to working alongside this dynamic team of industry leaders to tackle large, compelling opportunities in our existing business and adjacent categories as continued regulatory developments open new avenues for future growth. Our unique organizational infrastructure and strong financial position gives us the flexibility to pursue a variety of large organic and inorganic opportunities to increase shareholder value.”

Efremov previously was the CEO of Motorsport Network, where he was responsible for upgrading the IT infrastructure, processes and company strategy to support the integration of more than 30 businesses around the world. He has also worked as a senior executive at Liberty Media Corp., an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and a corporate lawyer at the law firm of Clearly, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton.

“Yavor came highly recommended by some of the most successful operators and investors in the world. The board is confident he has the right skill-set to help grow the company to the size and scale necessary to maximize value in a world driven by constantly shifting consumer preferences,” said David Glazek, chairman of TPB.

Glazek also thanked Wexler, who led the company through dramatic growth during his tenure as CEO, including its successful initial public offering (IPO) in 2016. Wexler helped crate TPB’s iconic brands and extensive distribution capabilities that reach millions of consumers at more than 210,000 retail outlets and on e-commerce platforms, Glazek said.

Wexler will remain on the board and serve as a consultant to the company following his retirement.

“It has been my sincere privilege to serve Turning Point Brands and its stakeholders during this period of significant growth as we increased EBITDA fivefold over the past 18 years,” Wexler said. “I want to thank both the board for the opportunity to serve our shareholders, and my colleagues for their dedication, hard work and, most importantly, their resiliency during my tenure. Turning Point Brands is well-positioned with highly recognizable brands and a strong management team. I look forward to working with Yavor and the next generation of leaders to build upon the success we have achieved.”

Louisville, Ky.-based  TPB's core brands include Zig-Zag rolling papers and Stoker’s moist snuff and chewing tobacco.

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