British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) has appointed its international chief operating officer Jack Bowles to the top job, the blue-chip company has said. The news came after the tobacco maker said last week that Nicandro Durante will step down next year, after nearly 37 years with the company, and eight years as CEO.
BAT’s share price has fallen deep into the red in today’s session following news of the appointment, having given up 2.22 percent to 3,465.50p as of 10:27 BST, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.22 percent higher at 7,474.89 points. The group’s shares have lost just under a quarter of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.4-percent gain in the Footsie.
BAT appoints new CEO
British American Tobacco announced in a statement this morning that it had appointed Jack Bowles, currently Chief Operating Officer of its international business, to succeed Nicandro Durante as Chief Executive Officer following Durante’s upcoming retirement on April 1 next year.
“Having conducted a far-reaching succession process with strong external and internal candidates, the Board is delighted to appoint such an experienced and dynamic successor from within BAT,” the FTSE 100 group’s chairman Richard Burrows commented in the statement. “In his most recent roles, as Director, Asia-Pacific and, as COO, he has played a key role in developing our potentially reduced risk products business.”
Analysts on FTSE 100 group
Goldman Sachs and Berenberg, which rate BAT as a ‘buy,’ set price target on the shares of 5,250p and 4,850p, respectively, last week. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 5,095p.