André Calantzopoulos is the current CEO of Philip Morris. As such, he has what one might call a rather challenging task, seeing as how his corporation doesn’t exactly have the best of reputations in a market that is seeing a gradual replacement of cigarettes with their electronic counterparts. However, it is interesting to note that Calantzopoulos is forward-thinking, so much so that he has voiced his support for what he calls a smokeless world.
Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about André Calantzopoulos:
1. Grew Up in Pyrgos
Calantzopoulos was born in a place called Pyrgos, which is the capital of the Elis regional unit in western Greece. Supposedly, Pyrgos was founded when a villager was rewarded with the rule of the region in exchange for turning over a treasure trove of buried coins to Sultan Selim I. Said individual built a tower for the purpose of watching over both his fields and his flocks, which would have been called a pyrgos in Greek.
2. Studied at EPFL
Later, Calantzopoulos moved to Switzerland for the purpose of studying at the EPFL, which stands for the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. Like the name suggests, the Lausanne-based school specializes in engineering as well as the natural engineering, so it should come as no surprise to learn that Calantzopoulos became a design engineer upon graduating.
3. Studied at INSEAD
It wasn’t until much later that Calantzopoulos studied at INSEAD, which might be known to English-speakers as the European Institute of Business Administration. There, he got his MBA, thus putting himself in an excellent position to tackle the challenges of senior management.
4. Joined Philip Morris in 1985
Philip Morris isn’t Calantzopoulos’ first employer. However, he has been there for a long, long time, as shown by the fact that he joined up as an analyst in the Business Development Department in 1985. Since that time, Calantzopoulos has taken on a number of senior management positions, rising higher and higher over time.
5. Soulati Media Claims that Philip Morris Has Doubled Earnings Each Decade Since Calantzopoulos Signed On
Sin stocks can be rather lucrative. For proof, look no further than Philip Morris, which is said by Soulati Media to have doubled its earnings in each decade since Calantzopoulos started out as an analyst. Calantzopoulos can claim a fair amount of the credit for said accomplishment, particularly seeing as how he has been an important figure in the corporation’s leadership for a long, long time.
6. Took On Important Roles in Eastern European Operations
Before he became President of Philip Morris in 2002, Calantzopoulos played an important role in the corporation’s Eastern European operations. For example, he was responsible for overseeing various national operations at various times. Likewise, he was responsible for overseeing a couple of local buy-outs.
7. Is Optimistic about Greek Economy
It is interesting to note that Calantzopoulos has expressed optimism about the Greek economy in the past. To be exact, he stated that he believes that the Greek economy could recover provided that what he believes to be necessary reforms are made. Furthermore, Calantzopoulos has stated that Greece’s economic crisis has had one positive effect of forcing people to recognize that his homeland has deep-rooted problems that needed to be corrected sooner rather than later.
8. Believes in a Smokeless Future
This might sound rather curious, but Calantzopoulos has stated his belief in a future without smoking. In short, as he sees it, there are now better ways for smokers to get their nicotine than from cigarettes. As a result, Calantzopoulos believes that it is important for Philip Morris to convince as many smokers as possible to switch to e-cigarettes and similar products as soon as possible.
9. Believes that E-Cigarettes Are a Matter of Weighing Alternatives
Currently, there is a serious debate about the use of e-cigarettes, with some arguing that their use is less harmful than cigarettes and others arguing that their use encourages people to take up smoking because of the perceived reduction in risk. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Calantzopoulos supports the use of e-cigarettes because as he sees it, smokers are going to continue smoking cigarettes if e-cigarettes are not available because the alternative is to stop smoking. Something that most of them aren’t going to do.
10. Believes in the Need for an “Ecosystem” Surrounding E-Cigarettes
Speaking of which, Calantzopoulos has stated that an “ecosystem” will spring up in the wake of e-cigarettes. By this, he meant accessories as well as other e-cigarette products, which would presumably be very important for a corporation such as Philip Morris in a smokeless world because of how e-cigarettes can be used again and again.