British American Tobacco's Souza Cruz, Brazil's largest tobacco company, announces retirement of President Dante Letti after 31 years with company, effective Jan. 1, 2012, will be replaced by Andrea Martini, current GM of BAT Mexico
August 9, 2011
– After 31 years in the British American Tobacco (BAT) Group, of which 13 years were with companies of the BAT Group abroad, Dante Letti announced his retirement as of 1 January 2012, at which time he will have completed 4 years as president of Souza Cruz.
According to Letti, “This was a very well thought-out decision and strictly personal. The moment has arrived for defining new objectives and priorities, for dedicating more time to my family, for travelling, developing new projects and for dealing with personal interests that have been postponed due to the many years of an executive career abroad and in Brazil.”
As an important executive of a British multinational, with a strong and pragmatic approach, Dante Letti worked in many different units of the BAT Group around the world, including in England, Ukraine, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia and Brazil.
In 2006, Letti took over the area of Mergers and Acquisitions in the United Kingdom and two years after that became president of Souza Cruz.
Under his leadership, Souza Cruz achieved high rates of growth in market share (about 5 percentage points), profits (+62% between 2007 and 2011), in a period that saw the company’s market value more than double: from 14.7 billion reals in December 2007 to 31.7 billion reals currently, in a market that is highly regulated and strongly influenced by illegal cigarette sales (that today represent 28% of the market).
Letti concentrated his efforts on increasing and improving distribution of Souza Cruz products, as well as growing the portfolio and penetration of premium brands in Brazil, notably Free, Dunhill, Vogue and Lucky Strike.
Andrea Martini, the current General Manager of BAT Mexico, will take over the presidency of Souza Cruz as from 1 January 2012.
Before joining the Group in 2005, Andrea had a successful career in the food industry, in the areas of Marketing and General Management, in companies such as Barilla, Bauducco, Parmalat and Hershey, principally in Italy and Brazil.
Andrea’s first position in the BAT Group was as General Manager in Colombia. In 2007 he became General Manager of BAT México, where he led the recovery of the company following a long period of loss of market share, and created a solid base for future growth of the company.