March 2, 2020 / 2:58 PM / 3 months ago

Philip Morris says CFO King steps down to head new America division

March 2 (Reuters) - Tobacco giant Philip Morris International Inc said on Monday Martin King will step down as chief financial officer to head the newly created America division, which has a licensing deal with Altria Group to sell heated-tobacco device IQOS.

Philip Morris said Emmanuel Babeau, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at France's Schneider Electric, will take King's role as finance chief in May.

IQOS, a "reduced risk" alternative to traditional cigarettes, was developed by Philip Morris and is sold in the United States through a partnership with U.S. Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc.

The device is central to Philip Morris' efforts to overhaul its image through initiatives like its "unsmoke" campaign, which promotes "smoke-free" alternatives like IQOS as a way to accelerate the shift away from cigarettes.

However, the company's marketing strategy for the device has drawn ire overseas for mimicking tobacco companies in the mid-20th century, when cigarettes were associated with Hollywood and high society. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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