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New Team at Phillip Morris Signals Focus

Philip Morris Cos. Inc. announced a reshaped management team that will surround Louis Camilleri, the company's current chief financial officer, when Geoffrey Bible steps down from the CEO role on April 25. Reuters has reported that the new team highlights the consumer product giant's focus on U.S. tobacco regulation and overseas acquisitions.

"The leadership team announced today positions us to seize upon the vast growth opportunities that Philip Morris Companies Inc. faces in the years ahead," said Camilleri. "Individually and as a team, they are exceptionally well prepared to grow our brands and businesses, develop our talented global work force and guide us as a socially responsible corporation."

Dinyar Devitre, 54, will become CFO, replacing Camilleri, who was appointed in January to head Philip Morris, whose brands include Kraft Foods Inc. and Miller Brewing Co. as well as the tobacco brand. Devitre will return to the company after working at Citigroup.

Michael Szymanczyk, 53, who had been mentioned as a rival to Camilleri before the CEO position was filled, will become chairman of Philip Morris USA. He will be replaced as president and chief executive of the domestic tobacco business by John Nelson, 50, who is currently president and chief executive of Philip Morris International. In another change at Philip Morris, the world's largest producer and marketer of consumer packaged goods, Andre Calantzopolous, 44, will become president and chief executive of Philip Morris International. Calantzopolous has recently been president of the company's Eastern Europe division.

The appointment of Szymanczyk to the position of U.S. tobacco chairman signals the company?s commitment to developing and marketing reduced-risk cigarettes. Reuters on Thursday reported that the promotion indicates the next big phase of the company's development "is likely to be some sort of FDA regulation" of tobacco, said Rob Campagnino of Prudential Securities.

"One of Louis Camilleri's key priorities that he's outlined as he takes on this role of CEO is a commitment to a reduced-risk product, and I think that Mike Szymanczyk is a natural for that," agreed Goldman Sachs analyst Marc Cohen.
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