Picture: istock
Picture: istock

British American Tobacco (BAT) CEO Nicandro Durante is retiring after eight years at the helm of the global tobacco company.

The London and JSE-listed BAT said on Thursday that Durante — who has spent a total of 37 years with group — will leave the group in April.

Nicandro Durante. Picture: SUPPLIED
Nicandro Durante. Picture: SUPPLIED

During his eight-year tenure as CEO, Durante oversaw the acquisition of the remaining shares (58%) in the US-based tobacco giant Reynolds in a multi-billion-dollar deal that BAT deemed transformational.

"He was the architect of the current strategy to transform the business and, with the successful establishment of BAT’s potentially reduced risk products business and the acquisition of Reynolds American, he has created a stronger, truly global tobacco and nicotine business," BAT chair Richard Burrows said.

BAT has a market value of R1.6-trillion, making it the most valuable company on the JSE behind AB InBev, which has a market cap of R2.2-trillion.

BAT said it has identified a lead candidate to succeed Durante, but gave no further details.

Its share price was down 0.49% in early trade on the JSE while Reinet was off 1.23% to R263.96. BAT accounts for the biggest share of Reinet’s net asset value, an investment vehicle controlled by Rupert family.

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