The following is a press release, their thoughts and statements are their own.
Bangkok, Thailand— Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE: PM) is pleased to announce that Jacek Olczak was appointed CEO following the company’s 2021 Annual Shareholders Meeting on May 5. Mr. Olczak—most recently the company’s Chief Operating Officer—was also elected to the Board of Directors. André Calantzopoulos, who served as PMI’s Chief Executive Officer from 2013 until May 5, 2021, was appointed Executive Chairman of the Board prior to the meeting. The appointments follow the announcement of PMI’s leadership transition in December 2020.
In accepting the appointment, Mr. Olczak committed to accelerating PMI’s smoke-free transformation, announced in 2016. The company is focused on developing, scientifically substantiating, and responsibly commercializing smoke-free products that are less harmful than smoking, with the aim of replacing cigarettes as soon as possible.
Mr. Olczak said: “I am humbled and excited to lead PMI as we accelerate our transformation into a smoke-free company. PMI is an industry leader in scientific innovation, and our ambition is that more than half of our net revenues will come from smoke-free products in 2025. Our evolving portfolio will drive our long-term future. We will lean into our scientific research and expertise, using our collective skills and imagination to innovate beyond our existing portfolio and explore new areas of business development.”
Mr. Olczak, 56, began his career with PMI in 1993. He started in finance and general management positions across Europe, including as Managing Director of PMI’s markets in Poland and Germany and as President of the European Union Region, before being appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2012. He held that position until 2018 when he became PMI’s, Chief Operating Officer. He holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Lodz, Poland.
Mr. Olczak has been a vital driver of PMI’s smoke-free transformation. Under his oversight as COO, PMI increased the portion of its net revenues derived from smoke-free products to 28 percent in the first quarter of 2021. Further, under Mr. Olczak’s leadership as COO, the company grew the geographical coverage of PMI’s smoke-free products from zero to 66 markets in key cities or nationwide as of March 31, 2021. And he led PMI’s commercial transformation, successfully developing it from a primarily business-to-business company to an increasingly business-to-consumer company.
Mr. Calantzopoulos said: “Jacek is ideally placed to deliver PMI’s smoke-free vision in his new role as CEO. His passion for the company and our employees underpins his drive for results, as does his deep knowledge of our products, systems, values, and investors. I believe he is the ideal leader to ensure our business’s continued growth and deliver shareholder value. I look forward to continuing to work with him in my new capacity as Executive Chairman of the Board.”
Mr. Gerald Margolis, Managing Director, Philip Morris Trading (Thailand), said: “Jacek has been driving PMI’s smoke-free transformation internationally, and his skills and expertise portend an exciting new chapter for PMI. It is unfortunate that Thailand today has closed the door on smoke-free products, but we hope it will in time recognize that such products, backed by sound science and appropriately regulated, can benefit the Thai public health and 10.7 million Thai smokers.”
Delivering a Smoke-Free Future
Philip Morris Trading (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (PMTT”), an affiliate of Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI), is now a leader in the international cigarette import business in Thailand. We have commenced the import and sale of PMI’s tobacco brands since 1991. We have currently employed over 350 Thai employees to whom we attribute our corporate culture and business results in designing a smoke-free future.
We are now leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company, and its shareholders. PMI is building a future on a new category of smoke-free products that, while not risk-free, are a much better choice than continuing to smoke. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and scientific substantiation, PMI aims to ensure that its smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. PMI’s smoke-free product portfolio includes heat-not-burn and nicotine-containing vapor products. As of 31 March 2021, PMI’s smoke-free products are available for sale in 66 markets in key cities or nationwide, and PMI estimates that approximately 14 million adult smokers around the world have already switched to its heated tobacco product and stopped smoking.