At the Annual Shareholders Meeting on May 5, Jacek Olczak was appointed new CEO of Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE: PM). Mr. Olczak, previously the company’s Chief Operating Officer, was also elected to the Board of Directors. André Calantzopoulos, who served as the Chief Executive Officer from 2013, was appointed Executive Chairman of the Board.
In accepting the appointment, Mr. Olczak committed to accelerating PMI’s smoke-free transformation, announced in 2016. The company is focused on developing, scientifically substantiating, and responsibly commercializing smoke-free products that are less harmful than smoking, with the aim of replacing cigarettes as soon as possible.
Mr. Olczak said: “I am humbled and excited to lead PMI as we accelerate our transformation into a smoke-free company. PMI is an industry leader in scientific innovation, and our ambition is that more than half of our net revenues will come from smoke-free products in 2025. Our evolving portfolio will drive our long-term future. We will lean into our scientific research and expertise, using our collective skills and imagination to innovate beyond our existing portfolio and explore new areas of business development.”
Mr. Olczak, 56, began his career with PMI in 1993. He started in finance and general management positions across Europe, including as Managing Director of PMI’s markets in Poland and Germany and as President of the European Union Region, before being appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2012. He held that position until 2018, when he became PMI’s Chief Operating Officer. He holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Lodz, Poland.
Mr. Olczak has been a vital driver of PMI’s smoke-free transformation, which moved into its commercialization phase with the launch of IQOS in Nagoya, Japan, in 2014. Under his oversight as COO, PMI increased the portion of its net revenues derived from smoke-free products to 28 percent in the first quarter of 2021. Further, under Mr. Olczak’s leadership as COO, the company grew the geographical coverage of PMI’s smoke-free products from zero to 66 markets in key cities or nationwide as of March 31, 2021. And he led PMI’s commercial transformation, successfully developing it from a primarily business-to-business company to an increasingly business-to-consumer company.
Mr. Calantzopoulos said: “Jacek is ideally placed to deliver PMI’s smoke-free vision in his new role as CEO. His passion for the company and our employees underpins his drive for results, as does his deep knowledge of our products, systems, values, and investors. I believe he is the ideal leader to ensure our business’s continued growth and deliver shareholder value. I look forward to continuing to work with him in my new capacity as Executive Chairman of the Board.”
Aleksandar Jakovljević, GM of Philip Morris Southeast Europe said: “Jacek has been driving PMI’s smoke-free transformation internationally from the beginning. His skills and expertise portend an exciting new chapter for our company. Under his leadership, we launched the first smoke-free tobacco product in Serbia four years ago, and we are glad that people have become increasingly aware of better alternatives to continued smoking.”