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BAT restructure sees creation of new chief transformation officer and combustibles director roles

February 2, 2023

British American Tobacco global headquarters in London (Photo: BAT)

British American Tobacco has on Tuesday announced a number of senior management changes and a new regional structure.

The changes, which follow a strategic review of its regions, business units and global functions, will see the number of regions being reduced from four to three, and the number of business units from 16 to 12, and the creation of two new management board roles: chief transformation officer and director, combustibles.

Johan Vandermeulen, currently regional director, Europe, will take charge as chief transformation officer, responsible for driving faster transformation, accelerating greater capability build in key areas and enabling an even faster, simpler and more agile organisation.

Luciano Comin, currently regional director, Americas and Sub-Saharan Africa, will be appointed as director, combustibles, and lead the focus on driving value from combustibles to fuel further investment in new categories.

BAT’s new structure will consist of three regions: USA (Reynolds American Inc.), Americas & Europe (AME) and Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA).

Frederico (Fred) Monteiro will be promoted to the management board as AME regional director and Guy Meldrum will continue to lead BAT’s largest business in the USA as president, Reynolds American.  Michael Dijanosic will take on an expanded role as the APMEA regional director.

All three, along with Javed Iqbal, director, digital and information, will report to Vandermeulen  while Comin will report to Kingsley Wheaton, recently appointed chief growth officer. Vandermeulen will report to Jack Bowles, chief executive.

“As our transformation journey towards our strategic milestones gathers pace, we need to further sharpen our operating model, streamline our business to drive agility, and continue to enhance organisational capabilities,” Bowles said.

“As part of our commitment to building A Better Tomorrow, the changes we have announced today will drive increased focus, accelerate our transformation and fuel growth as we strengthen the foundations of our future as a category-led enterprise.”

The structural changes and appointments will take effect from 1 April,

Further, Dr. David O’Reilly, director, research and science, will step down from the management board on 28 February and leave BAT with effect from 31 May to pursue other interests.

O’Reilly will be succeeded by Dr. James Murphy, currently executive vice president of scientific research and development at Reynolds American Inc. He has been with BAT for over 17 years and has held a number of senior roles in the Centre in R&D, Operations and Marketing as well as in the Americas and Sub-Saharan Africa region.