Altria Group announced on Feb. 1 that its CEO Marty Barrington would step down in May after six years at the helm. He will pass the baton on to 54-year-old Howard Willard, the company’s current COO and former CFO. Willard will have to steer Altria through one of the most difficult phases of its history, as traditional cigarette sales continue to dip and Altria and Philip Morris International’s iQos alternative await FDA’s judgment.
“Howard has been essential to that team and is immensely qualified and ready to take Altria forward when I step away in May,” Barrington said in a statement.
Yesterday, Altria also announced the election of Mark E. Newman to its Board of Directors. Newman is SVP and CFO of The Chemours Company, a global chemical company. Altria posted its Q4 and yearly earnings on Thursday, which missed Wall Street projections, Bloomberg reported. The company expects profit of $3.90 to $4.03 a share this year, excluding some items. Analysts had estimated $4.18.