Louis Camilleri steps down as Philip Morris chairman; Jacek Olczak appointed new CEO

Jacek Olczak

Philip Morris International (PMI) executive chairman Louis Camilleri has retired citing personal reasons, the Marlboro maker said on Thursday.

Camilleri also stepped down as chief executive of Ferrari, the luxury automaker said separately.

His decision came after the executive suffered health problems, which made it necessary to hospitalize him for COVID-19 in recent weeks, Reuters reported citing source at Ferrari.

Camilleri is now recovering at home but his illness was not the cause of his decision to retire, the source added.

Philip Morris appointed chief executive André Calantzopoulos to serve in Camilleri’s stead. Its independent presiding director, Lucio Noto, will serve as interim chairman until Calantzopoulos’ succession in May, the company said.

Jacek Olczak, who currently serves as the chief operating officer, will succeed Calantzopoulos as chief executive.

“I am delighted to hand over the chairman of the board role to André following his decision to relinquish his CEO responsibilities. I am equally delighted to see Jacek named to the helm of the company as of May 2021,” Camilleri said.

“Contemplating my 40-year PMI career, it has been an enormous privilege to serve this wonderful company, its board, its employees, and its shareholders. I want to wholeheartedly thank you all for this amazing journey that has made PMI the leading and most progressive tobacco company in the world.”

PMI said the planned succession promises a seamless transition and continuity of leadership.

“The decisions announced today are the result of a rigorous and well-executed multi-year succession plan and are a clear demonstration of how well our company is governed,” Noto commented. “The board is assured that under Jacek’s and André’s leadership and guidance, PMI will continue to innovate, prosper, and enhance shareholder value.”

“I know I speak for all of us in expressing my profound gratitude to Louis for his enormous dedication and his tremendous contributions to our company throughout his stellar career. The members of the board will all miss him dearly,” he added.

Joining in the company in 1993, Olczak has served as PMI’s as chief financial officer from August 2012 through December 2018. He led PMI’s markets in Poland and Germany as managing director and worked president of the European Union region before his appointment as CFO.

“I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead PMI. Working alongside André on PMI’s transformation, we have built the capabilities to continue delivering the unsmoke vision and beyond. I am committed to continuing to work with André in his new role and with the entire team at PMI to deliver on the enormous business opportunity of a smoke-free future, to the benefit of our consumers, shareholders, and society,” he commented.

Calantzopoulos, whose seven-year stint has seen the company making important strides towards smoke free products, said: “I am very pleased to hand over the CEO responsibility to Jacek. Having worked closely with Jacek for decades, I know well that his passion for the company and our employees, drive for results, and deep knowledge of our products, systems, values, and investors make him the ideal leader to ensure the continued growth of our business and to deliver shareholder value.”