Imperial Brands has strengthened its board with a new non-executive director who has experience in what it calls "next generation" products.
Simon Langelier, who joined the board yesterday, held a number of senior commercial positions during his 30-year career with Imperial rival Philip Morris International. He worked as president of their next generation products and adjacent businesses arm, an area that is increasingly important as tobacco sales decline and firms look to push alternatives like electronic cigarettes and tobacco heating products.
Langelier is also chairman of PharmaCielo, a Canadian-based firm that suppliers medical-grade cannabis oil extracts and related products.
Chairman Mark Williamson said: "I'm delighted to welcome Simon to Imperial Brands. His extensive international experience in tobacco and in wider consumer adjacencies will be a great asset to the board."
In May, Imperial, the maker of Winston, Kool and Gauloises cigarettes, said tobacco sales fell in the half-year, but it assured analysts it will not fall behind other cigarette makers in developing a tobacco heating product after it was initially resistant to the idea.
Shares in the British tobacco giant dipped 1.35 per cent to 3,540.5p in afternoon trading.