The company is appointing K.C. Crosthwaite to senior vice president and chief growth officer, Altria Client Services LLC.
New Leadership Position
With the restructuring, Altria established a chief growth officer function to identify and pursue the company's strategic and innovative growth priorities across the tobacco landscape.
This function will identify marketplace and adult tobacco consumer insights and translate them into strategies for product development, consumer engagement, future of commerce and business development, according to the company.
Chief among the responsibilities of the chief growth officer and its team will be innovative product development and enhancing the company's capabilities by building and acquiring the competencies, technologies and talent to achieve Altria's aspiration of being the U.S. leader in authorized, non-combustible, reduced-risk products.
To lead this new function, the company is appointing K.C. Crosthwaite to senior vice president and chief growth officer, Altria Client Services LLC (ALCS), reporting to Willard.
Crosthwaite has been president and CEO, PM USA for the past year. Before that, he was vice president, strategy and business development, ALCS, and vice president and general manager, Marlboro, PM USA.
He joined PM USA in 1997 and brings to his new role many years of experience leading and supporting major brands.
These changes will be effective June 1.
An Analyst's Take
According to Bonnie Herzog, managing director of tobacco, beverage and convenience store research at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, Altria's new organization structure "makes a lot of sense."
"While the breadth of key management role changes rings a bit like 'musical chairs' to us, we note that Altria has a long history of promoting from within and rotating talent to deepen managerial/operational experiences," Herzog said, adding the changes also highlight loyalty with the new leadership averaging 20 years at Altria.
She noted that Wells Fargo Securities found it "surprising" the restructuring announcement did not mention heated tobacco or iQOS, a Philip Morris International heat-not-burn product Altria will market in the United States.
However, according to Herzog, she confirmed with the company that iQOS remains a key priority and focus for Altria and it will sit under the core tobacco division because of the Marlboro trademark associated with the product.
Based in Richmond, Altria's wholly owned subsidiaries also include Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd., and Philip Morris Capital Corp.
The brand portfolios of Altria's tobacco operating companies include Marlboro, Black & Mild, Copenhagen, Skoal, MarkTen and Green Smoke.