Imperial Tobacco Names Tant Finance Director, Succeeding Dyrbus

Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, Europe’s second-biggest tobacco company, said Oliver Tant will succeed Bob Dyrbus as finance director in November.

Tant will be appointed to the board on Oct. 1 and will take up the role of finance director on Nov. 5, Imperial said today in a statement. Dyrbus will retire from the Bristol, England-based maker of Davidoff cigarettes at the end of the year.

“As we continue our strategic transition it’s important that we have someone of Oliver’s caliber to lead the finance team in supporting the sustainable growth of the business,” Ian Napier, Imperial’s chairman, said in the statement. He thanked Dyrbus for his “huge contribution” to the company.

Tant formerly held the role of vice chairman of consultancy KPMG LLP, and has experience in organizational restructuring, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions across industries including retail, private equity and insurance, according to the statement.

Imperial is cutting costs to offset worsening conditions in Europe and is seeking to develop alternative nicotine products and electronic cigarettes in order to catch up with competitors such as British American Tobacco Plc. It agreed to buy Dragonite International Ltd.’s e-cigarette unit earlier this month for $75 million.

Dyrbus announced his intention to retire in January.

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