Altria's New CEO, Chairman Settles Into Role

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Altria's New CEO, Chairman Settles Into Role


RICHMOND, Va. -- Martin J. Barrington has taken his seat as chairman and CEO at The Altria Group Inc. He formally took title to roles at the company's 2012 Annual Meeting of Shareholders last week.

"I am very excited about Altria's future," Barrington said at the annual meeting. "The company has a unique combination of terrific and profitable brands, a strong and diverse balance sheet and truly talented people to drive growth into the future. I'm honored to have the opportunity to lead this company."

Barrington succeeded Michael E. Szymanczyk, who announced in January he would retire immediately following the May 17 annual meeting, as CSNews Online previously reported. Szymanczyk joined the company 23 years ago and served as chairman and CEO of Altria for four years, and president and CEO of Philip Morris USA (PM USA) for 12 years.

The board of directors was ready for his retirement, immediately revealing a succession plan was in place. That plan called for Barrington to move to chairman and CEO and David R. Beran to be Altria's president and COO.

"I am very pleased that our board has elected Marty Barrington to succeed me as chairman and CEO," Szymanczyk said. "And I am equally pleased that they have elected Dave Beran to work with Marty as president and chief operating officer. Marty and Dave have made significant contributions in a variety of roles over the years. Their talent and experience give the board, and me personally, great confidence in their ability to lead Altria through its next phase of growth."

Barrington joined Altria in 1993. His previous positions at Altria Group include vice chairman and executive vice president; and chief compliance and administrative officer. Previous to those positions, he was general counsel and senior vice president for Philip Morris International; and general counsel and senior vice president for PM USA.

Before joining Altria, Barrington practiced law in both the government and private sectors. He serves on the board of directors of the Richmond Performing Arts Center, the boards of trustees for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The College of Saint Rose, and on the advisory board of the Points of Light Institute. He is also a former Commissioner for the Virginia Port Authority.

As president and COO of Altria, Beran also oversees PM USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., John Middleton, Altria Group Distribution Co. and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. He also leads the marketing and consumer research, procurement and information services organizations at Altria Client Services.

Beran joined Altria 1976. His previous positions at the company include vice chairman for Altria Group; executive vice president and chief financial officer for Altria; executive vice president and chief financial officer for PM USA; and executive vice president of finance, planning and information for PM USA.

In the community, he serves on the board of directors for the Richmond Ballet.