Management Merry-Go-Round Rotates at Philip Morris

29 August 2002

Cigarette giant Philip Morris USA – a unit of global food and tobacco colossus Philip Morris – has reshuffled its senior management, including two top marketing posts.

David Beran, hitherto senior vp–operations, becomes executive vice president of strategy, communications and consumer contact. According to Ellen Merlo, senior vp–corporate affairs, he will “[manage] overall communications and monitor societal trends to make sure…the company is in alignment.”

In another change, Craig Johnson takes the role of executive vp for sales and distribution, having been senior vp for the same areas. He will oversee the company’s in-store promotional activity and retail merchandising – increasingly important activities for the tobacco firm.

“There are traditional marketing programs, which are equity-building, and we’re not about to abandon that,” commented Merlo. “But there is a heavier reliance on price promotions at point-of-sale, working with retailers, and that’s really critical, especially in a post-regulatory environment.”

Also, president/ceo John Nelson becomes president, operations and technology. Among his responsibilities will be the launch of a reduced-risk cigarette.

The reshuffled trio will all report to chairman Michael Szymanczyk, who also resumes the role of ceo – a position he relinquished in the group’s last management overhaul in March.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff