BAT chief Jack Bowles step down with immediate effect

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The chief executive of British American Tobacco has stepped down with immediate effect in a sudden exit from one of the world’s largest cigarette companies.

Jack Bowles, 59, has been replaced by Tadeu Marroco, BAT’s group finance director, after just four years in the role, making him the shortest-serving boss of the three chief executives and one executive chairman the company has had since 1998.

The change at the top of the FTSE 100 maker of Lucky Strike and Dunhill cigarettes caught the City by surprise.

Rae Maile, the veteran industry analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: “It is clear that the market has not warmed to a corporate strategy which has been long on a progressive agenda but shorter in terms of delivery.”

Maile said the change “offers the chance for the company to rebuild investor confidence from a low base, provided that the message concentrates back on the things actually going well, rather than what the company hopes might go well.”

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Author: Alex Ralph, Chief Business Correspondent, The Times

Rae Maile

Managing Director, Research Analyst, Financials & Tobacco

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