New CEOs for two Reynolds American tobacco subsidiaries
Reynolds American Inc., a tobacco product manufacturer, announced the appointment of new chief executive officers for each of its Conwood Company LLC and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. subsidiaries, according to the company
Effective Feb. 1, Bryan Stockdale has been named president and chief executive officer of Memphis, Tenn.-based Conwood, the nation’s second-largest smokeless tobacco manufacturer. He will succeed William Rosson, who plans to retire.
Nicholas Bumbacco was named president and CEO of Santa Fe, N.M.-based Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., effective March 1. He will replace Richard Sanders, who plans to remain in an advisory transition position before retiring.
Reynolds American is a parent company of multiple tobacco subsidiaries. Its R.J. Reynolds division manufactures Camel, Kool, Pall Mall, Winston and Doral cigarettes. Conwood Company’s top brands are Kodiak, Grizzly and Levi Garrett, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company manufactures Natural American Spirit cigarettes and other additive-free tobacco products.
Spokesperson Maura Payne told DailyVista that Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company
’s primary media usage is through magazine advertisements, some alternative weekly ads, some point of sale and in-store signage as well as direct mail to age-verified consumers who have voluntarily signed up to receive updates and coupons.
’s media efforts are similar, relying heavily on retail presence like in-store advertising as well as direct mail outreach.
Payne said that Stockdale and Bumbacco will have all functions of each respective subsidiary reporting to them, and will retain accountability for any and every long-term strategic growth opportunities for each company.
“In both cases, there are designated heads of marketing; those are the individuals more heavily involved with marketing decisions,” she said. “At Santa Fe it’s (Vice President of Trade and Consumer Marketing) Colin Uffindell, and at Conwood it’s the VP of Marketing Winton Jannette.”
Payne said that those two marketing executives and their respective staffs will be making marketing and advertising decisions for each subsidiary.
“Conwood is extremely successful and is a market leader in price value market segment with smokeless tobacco,” she said. “It’s been on a strong growth trajectory and is very well positioned in the marketplace, and obviously while Bryan isn’t yet in place and can’t speculate about future growth opportunities, in both cases, each company’s growth is extremely strong and are marketed very well.”
She added that the situation at Conwood is similar to Santa Fe’s success, which it has seen due to the iconic presence of American Spirits cigarettes, which have garnered many loyal consumers and is a franchise that continues to grow.
Even in the worst stages of the economy, Santa Fe’s premium-priced American Spirits seem to fare well. Adult tobacco consumers are willing to spend a little more on cigarettes that they feel are simply better than most other brands.
“Consumers consider it to be getting value for their dollar, and are willing to pay premium price to continue to get American Spirits,” Payne said. “Conwood’s largest brand, Grizzly, has been growing by leaps and bounds since its introduction, and it’s competing well at a price point that consumers find appealing. They (Conwood and Santa Fe) are positioned a little differently, but both are somewhat less subjected to some of the economic pressures that some of the other economic goods are seeing.”
Because Stockdale and Bumbacco have yet to take on their new roles at their respective subsidiaries, there has not been any opportunity for them to delve into detail about their strategic branding plans, but our source said that each segment has solid brand positioning efforts that are already underway.
“I think in both cases they each have well-established brands, but that said, we always want to continue our endeavor to convert adult tobacco consumers,” Payne said. “The cigarette industry consistently declines by 2 to 4 percent each year, so the only way to grow is at the expense of one of your competitors.”
She said that Santa Fe does not use any agencies at all, and handles all of its efforts in-house, while Conwood does work with outside firms, but did not disclose any names specifically.
“Winton (Jannette) did tell me that it’s entirely driven by needs of the business,” Payne said. “If they (Conwood) believe they have a project they want to form a strategic partnership to complete, they certainly have latitude to do so, but it would probably not be Bryan making that choice. If anyone wanted to pitch, it would be Winton’s accountability to pick a new business partner.”
According to The List database, Louisville, Ky.-based PriceWeber Marketing Communications Inc. has handled R.J. Reynolds’ promotional marketing since 2004, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Mullen has handled its media efforts since 1999 and Greensboro, N.C.-based Coyne Beahm Shouse is currently handling its relationship marketing.
Nielsen Monitor-Plus reported that the R.J. Reynolds spent about $39.7 million on media in 2007. About $38.9 million was spent on national magazine ads, $380,000 on business-to-business initiatives and $250,000 on local newspapers.
Agencies interested in reaching out to Conwood to discuss future partnerships may not have to wait until Stockdale joins the group in February, seeing as Jannette would be primarily responsible for those types of decisions. There may or may not be any strategic partnership opportunities for Santa Fe, but DV readers are advised to reach out to Conwood, seeing as Santa Fe relies so heavily on its in-house team for everything.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
401 North Main Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27102
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Conwood Sales Co LLC
813 Ridge Lake Blvd # 100
Memphis, TN 38120
President & Chief Executive Officer – Conwood
Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co Inc
1 Plaza La Prensa
Santa Fe, NM 87507
President & Chief Executive Officer – Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.