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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) continues its strategy to transform tobacco with the creation of a new subsidiary, RAI Innovations Co.
The new subsidiary will be focused on product development, innovation and commercialization of next-generation vapor and nicotine products.
"Product innovation has long been a hallmark of RAI's operating companies," said Susan M. Cameron, RAI's president and CEO. "By centralizing new-product development in these areas, we will be able to drive speed to market with new products across a range of platforms and more efficiently meet the preferences of consumers in a rapidly evolving marketplace."
Under the new structure, R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. and Niconovum USA will become wholly owned subsidiaries of RAI Innovations, Jacob McConnico, RAI spokesman, told CSNews Online. "RAI Innovations Co. is a new subsidiary of [RAI]. The company will assume the responsibility for all areas of product development, innovations, commercialization and marketing for next-generation vapor and nicotine products," McConnico said.
"The creation of RAI Innovations Co. will allow us to centralize next-generation product development and product innovations across multiple platforms to maintain and drive market leadership, while improving speed to market. Overall, this move clearly illustrates our commitment to product innovation and the important role it plays in leading the transformation of the tobacco industry," he added.
As part of the change, Carolyn C. Hanigan will join the RAI organization as president of RAI Innovations on Jan. 19. She brings 20 years of experience in consumer packaged goods companies, including Mars Inc., Nestlé, The Clorox Co. and Kraft Nabisco Foods. Most recently, she was vice president of consumer marketing at Swander Pace Capital, a private-equity firm with holdings in consumer products companies.
RAI, which is based in Winston-Salem, is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc., American Snuff Co. LLC, Niconovum USA Inc., Niconovum AB, and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co.