Philip Morris International Names New External Affairs Leader

Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE: PM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Christos Harpantidis to the position of Senior Vice President, External Affairs effective May 1, 2024. In his new role, Mr. Harpantidis will report to the company’s CEO, Jacek Olczak.

“Christos is an experienced business leader with a proven track record of engaging society on the benefits of tobacco harm reduction and risk-proportionate regulation for smoke-free products,” said CEO Jacek Olczak. “He has been instrumental in building our smoke-free business in Greece and the South East Europe Area as we evolve away from cigarettes. I’m looking forward to working with Christos and excited to see what opportunities we can unlock as he takes the helm of our External Affairs function globally.”

Since joining PMI in 2003, Mr. Harpantidis has held several positions, including setting the commercialization strategy for smoke-free products in Lausanne, Switzerland, and serving as Chairman and Managing Director of Papastratos in Greece. Most recently, he served as Area Vice President of the South East Europe Area. Throughout his career at PMI, he has strongly contributed to growing the company’s smoke-free consumer base, expanding its brand portfolio, and advocating for regulations consistent with PMI’s smoke-free ambitions. Prior to joining the company, he worked at Coca-Cola Hellenic. Mr. Harpantidis holds a degree in physics from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, as well as master’s degrees in economics and business administration from Kent University in the United Kingdom.

“Leading our dynamic External Affairs function globally is an enormous honor,” said Christos Harpantidis. “I look forward to building on the remarkable progress already achieved by the team, which is resulting in science-based tobacco harm reduction policies being endorsed by more countries. I am incredibly proud of the work we are doing to transform our company and of the way civil society is coming together to support us. Still, more must be done. To realize our world-changing vision, we must continue to engage in transparent dialogue, build trust in the evidence, and work closely with policymakers and public health stakeholders to accelerate change.”

This appointment follows the decision of Grégoire Verdeaux to leave PMI at the end of April to pursue other professional opportunities. During his tenure, Mr. Verdeaux expanded the company’s global tobacco harm reduction strategy and, with the team, built compelling policy positions and advocated for regulations consistent with our smoke-free ambitions.

“Thanks, in large part, to Grégoire’s efforts, tobacco harm reduction policies are now endorsed by a growing number of countries,” said Mr. Olczak. “Under Christos’ leadership, I believe that the External Affairs function will ensure that this positive momentum is maintained and further amplified.”

Philip Morris International: Delivering a Smoke-Free Future

Philip Morris International (PMI) is a leading international tobacco company, actively delivering a smoke-free future and evolving its portfolio for the long term to include products outside of the tobacco and nicotine sector. The company’s current product portfolio primarily consists of cigarettes and smoke-free products. Since 2008, PMI has invested $12.5 billion to develop, scientifically substantiate, and commercialize innovative smoke-free products for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, with the goal of completely ending the sale of cigarettes. This includes the building of world-class scientific assessment capabilities, notably in the areas of pre-clinical systems toxicology, clinical and behavioral research, as well as post-market studies. In 2022, PMI acquired Swedish Match—a leader in oral nicotine delivery—creating a global smoke-free champion led by the companies’ IQOS and ZYN brands. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized versions of PMI’s IQOS Platform 1 devices and consumables and Swedish Match’s General snus as Modified Risk Tobacco Products. As of December 31, 2023, PMI’s smoke-free products were available for sale in 84 markets, and PMI estimates that approximately 20.8 million adults around the world had already switched to IQOS and stopped smoking. Smoke-free products accounted for approximately 37 percent of PMI’s total full-year 2023 net revenues. With a strong foundation and significant expertise in life sciences, PMI announced in February 2021 its ambition to expand into wellness and healthcare areas and, through its Vectura Fertin Pharma business, aims to enhance life through the delivery of seamless health experiences. For more information, please visit and


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