André Calantzopoulos, 55, will take over the leadership of the international tobacco company Philip Morris on May 8 following his appointment on March 18 in New York by the board of directors.
He will step into the job in a company under criticism in Greece for promoting cigarette sales which critics said have caused serious health problem and the deaths of an estimated 20,000 people a year.
Calantzopoulos succeeds Louis Camilleri, who will remain Chairman of the Board. Calantzopoulos joined the company in 1985 and worked extensively across Central Europe, at various positions, including Managing Director of PM Poland, before he became President of the Eastern Europe Region in 1999.
Calantzopoulos earned a degree in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and an MBA from INSEAD in France. Prior to joining Philip Morris, he gained management experience in the automotive industry. He was the representative for the company when it signed a deal in Athens recently with the government concerning the purchase of Oriental tobacco for the next three years.
According to the newspaper Ethnos, this agreement will boost farmers’ income because the overall value of the products purchased by Philip Morris is more than 200 million euros ($259.3 million.) He said that, “It is a great honor for me and the confidence that the Board of Directors expresses in me helps me keep on contributing to the extraordinary progress of Philip Morris International”.