By Hamed Mahmoud
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is pleased to announce that Jacek Olczak was appointed CEO following the company’s 2021 Annual Shareholders Meeting on May 5. Mr. Olczak—most recently the company’s Chief Operating Officer—was also elected to the Board of Directors. André Calantzopoulos, who served as PMI’s Chief Executive Officer from 2013 until May 5, 2021, was appointed Executive Chairman of the Board prior to the meeting. The appointments follow the announcement of PMI’s leadership transition in December 2020.
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.