Gallaher hopes the move will help to increase its focus on the market in the wake of last October's ban on consumer advertising of tobacco.
Francis is responsible for overseeing multiple grocer and multiple convenience channels. He reports to UK commercial managing director Barry Jenner.
Francis has been replaced as trading director for multiple grocers by Nigel Hardy, who moves from Tesco where he was business planning manager for frozen foods, petrol and tobacco. Hardy said: "With the advent of the legislation, we are operating in a dark market' and the key opportunity is now at point of purchase."
Before working for Tesco, Hardy worked at M&S where his focus was on delivering strategic marketing plans.