Eugene Walsh has taken over as Imperial Tobacco’s UK boss following Amal Pramanik’s promotion to a divisional director role at the FTSE 100 group.

Walsh moves to the role from the Ukraine, where he has been Imperial Tobacco’s general director for Ukraine and Moldova.

In that role, he oversaw the operations of the largest British-owned company in Ukraine, employing more than 500 people.

He joined Imperial Tobacco in March 2003, based out of Moscow. Since then he has held several senior roles including sales and marketing director for Russia and sales and marketing director for the Ukraine, before being appointed to head the Ukraine and Moldovan business in 2010.

“I am delighted to be joining Imperial Tobacco’s flagship market and very much look forward to meeting and working with our UK business partners,” Walsh said.

Pramanik has been general manager of the UK business since September 2008, having previously headed Imperial Tobacco’s operations in the Netherlands and Australia.

His arrival coincided with the start of the recession and he also led the UK business during a period of intense government pressure. Joining 10 months after the introduction of a ban on smoking in public places, the government then enforced a tobacco display ban and is currently considering plain packaging for tobacco products. In November 2011 he also led a ‘Smoking Allowed’ campaign.