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New PMI boss pledges to help the UK go smoke free by 2030

October 19, 2020

Credit: PMI

Philip Morris International (PMI) has announced the appointment of Christian Woolfenden as its new managing director for the UK and Ireland, taking over from Peter Nixon.

In a statement announcing his appointment, Woolfenden said: “I’m excited to be joining Philip Morris International – and the mission to help the UK become smoke-free. With an estimated seven million adults in the country still smoking, it’s crucial they have access to good information and choices around better alternatives to cigarettes.”

At the heart of PMI’s strategy to move beyond combustible tobacco is its heated tobacco system, IQOS, and Woolfenden said this will be a key area of focus: “I’m looking forward to building on the existing success of PMI’s reduced-risk products in the UK, and driving forward the changes that will help people that would otherwise continue to smoke to give up cigarettes for good.”

PMI has invested more than £6bn since 2008 to develop and commercialise its reduced-risk portfolio. IQOS produces no smoke and emits an aerosol with 90- 95% lower levels of harmful compounds than cigarettes.

Woolfenden has held senior roles at Procter & Gamble, Paddy Power and most recently at Photobox. Welcoming him to the role, Frederic De Wilde, president of the European Union region at PMI said: “Christian is a strong commercial leader with a proven track record of growing businesses. He has best-in-class consumer, marketing and digital transformation experience. In his new role, Christian will continue to build our portfolio of reduced-risk products through a variety of channels.”