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    General Tobacco Restructures Sales Force

    Company also makes $17M advance payment to the Master Settlement Agreement.

    MAYODAN, N.C. -- General Tobacco (GT) revealed a company plan to reorganize its sales team in conjunction with its realignment strategies, as well as a payment of $17 million in advance of its yearly payment pursuant to its entry into the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).

    "At General Tobacco, we recognized the need to increase our strategic focus and have therefore taken a new approach by re-engineering our sales team. We will now be increasing our sales directors to seven and will gain farther reach while maintaining distribution and our effectiveness in the marketplace," J. Ronald Denman, executive vice president of General Tobacco, said in a released statement.

    Changes in the sales team will direct resources to areas for new distribution and market growth. The seven sales directors will be managing a field sales team of 33.

    The MSA payment comes as part of GT's commitment to the multi-state agreement by tobacco companies setting forth strict guidelines for tobacco marketing and advertising. Since joining the MSA in 2004, GT has paid close to $563 million, the company said.

    The MSA is a comprehensive accord formed in 1998 with the Attorneys General of 46 states and five territories that has fundamentally changed how tobacco products are marketed, advertised and promoted, according to the company. GT voluntarily joined the MSA in 2004 to support their mission of improving public health and reducing youth smoking, and has fully complied with the marketing and advertising restrictions addressed in the MSA.

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