Altria Group, the parent company of Nat Sherman, has announced a corporate restructuring. As a part of the new organizational structure, Nat Sherman will be a part of the new Core Tobacco Division and have a new Managing Director and General Manager in Dominik Meier.
As a part of the new structure, Altria is establishing two divisions – one for core tobacco products and one for innovative products. While the Innovation division will focus on non-combustible products in the Nu Mark division, the Core Tobacco division will consist of Philip Morris USA (cigarettes), U.S.Smokeless Tobacco Company (smokeless tobacco), John Middleton (machine made cigars and pipe tobacco), and Nat Sherman. Heading up the Core Tobacco Division will be Altria Senior Vice President Jody Begley. Begley comes over to the Core Tobacco division from Nu Mark. Replacing Begley in Nu Mark will be Brian Quigley, who will assume the title of President and CEO of that division.
Of primary interest to premium cigar enthusiasts is the alignment of Nat Sherman in the portfolio. It was in January 2017 when Altria acquired Nat Sherman from the Sherman family. Following the acquisition, Shannon Leistra became the General Manager of Nat Sherman. Replacing Leistra is Dominik Meier. Meier has been with Altria since 2005, most recently serving as the Managing Director of Consumer and Marketplace Insights. Meanwhile, Leistra is slated to become the new President and CEO of the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company under the Altria Core Tobacco Products division.
While the Nat Sherman organization remains unchanged, it was recently announced that long-time premium cigar industry veteran David Lafferty would be joining Nat Sherman as the new Executive Director of Sales. Lafferty is best known for his long tenure at Drew Estate where he most recently served as Director for National Accounts.
“This is a dynamic time in the tobacco industry, and just as we lead in traditional tobacco products, we intend to lead in offering adult smokers more choices in innovative, non-combustible, reduced-risk products,” said Howard Willard, Altria’s Chairman and CEO in a press release. “We expect this new structure to accelerate our innovation pipeline, maximize our core tobacco businesses and allow us to continue to reward shareholders.”