JTI’s Jorge Da Motta, who has been UK MD for just 11 months, is set to become the company’s regional president, Central Europe.
Da Motta is being replaced by Daniel Torras, returning to the role he previously held between 2009 and 2011, before he moved to his native Spain to become MD for the Iberian market.
During his time in the UK, da Motta has led JTI’s response to the myriad of legislative challenges facing the tobacco industry, most notably the potential introduction of plain packaging and the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive, which looks set to ban the sale of 10-packs of cigarettes and flavours including menthol.
Speaking to The Grocer in October, da Motta said he believed “the UK has been sleepwalking into TPD2”.
“The debate around plain packaging has occupied everybody’s time, while at the back of the whole thing was TPD2 and I don’t think many people in the government, the general public and even the trade had an awareness of the raft of legislation and the impact it may have,” he said.
Da Motta was equally forthright in his dismissal of the evidence supporting plain packaging.
“I find Guinness packaging attractive – its iconic black and gold – but I don’t like Guinness. I like the packaging but I’m not going to drink it. You can go on and on through many examples of something being attractive that doesn’t lead to the next step. We still have to see any research in this area that appears credible,” he argued.
Torras will take up his new role tomorrow (1 February). Announcing the change, da Motta said: “Daniel returns with a wealth of experience, I know he is relishing the opportunity and the challenges that lie ahead for the UK market.”