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BAT Korea names first Korean CEO

British American Tobacco Group has named Kim Eui-soung, a cross-border industry marketing expert, as new chief executive officer and president of its South Korean unit, the company said Monday.

Kim replaces Matthieu Juery who led BAT Korea for two years, becoming the first Korean head of the tobacco maker’s local unit launched 29 years ago.

BAT Korea CEO Kim Eui-soung (BAT Korea)
BAT Korea CEO Kim Eui-soung (BAT Korea)

The change comes amid intensifying market competition in the fast-changing tobacco market here along with the rise of new types of cigarettes. BAT Korea plans to release new heat-not-burn cigarettes later this year, to secure its presence in the market dominated by local tobacco giant KT&G and its global competitor Philip Morris.

“With extensive industrial experience both in consumer goods and consumer health care, I will bring a positive change to improve market share by proactively investing and carefully serving the needs of consumers in the fast-changing domestic tobacco market,” he said.

Kim had experience in launching BAT’s Kent brand in Korea in 2010. He joined the company again, after building his career at Boehringer Ingelheim as country head of consumer health care and at Sanofi as general manager for consumer health care in Korea.

By Cho Chung-un (