Good afternoon, readers.
The rollercoaster continues to whipsaw for vaping giant Juul. The besieged e-cigarette maker has launched even more executive shakeups in its C-suite, replacing chief financial officer (CFO) Tim Danaher and chief administrative officer Ashley Gould, among a number of other top-level changes.
Former Juul CEO Kevin Burns resigned last month amid growing scandals over the company’s marketing tactics and public health concerns centered on mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping (though those cases mostly seem tied to illicit THC cartridges which can be attached to Juul and other modifiable e-cigarette devices).
Burns was replaced by longtime tobacco industry veteran K.C. Crosthwaite, a former executive at Altria (the company that sells Philip Morris brands in the U.S. and has a hefty 35% stake in Juul). Danaher is being replaced by Guy Cartwright; two other exits include Craig Brommers, Juul’s chief marketing officer (a position that is being eliminated entirely in the wake of lawsuits and regulatory scrutiny) and senior vice president of advanced technologies David Foster.
“As the vapor category undergoes a necessary reset, this reorganization will help Juul Labs focus on reducing underage use, investing in scientific research, and creating new technologies while earning a license to operate in the U.S. and around the world,” said Crosthwaite in a statement. The company has ceased digital, print, and T.V. advertising and is voluntarily yanking non-tobacco or menthol flavored products from shelves.
Furthermore, Juul is also slated for 500 job cuts across the company.
These sorts of retrenchments and management shakeups are usually meant as an olive branch to regulators and the public. It’s unclear that the cascading vaping controversies will hobble Juul outright—and, as I’ve written before, it’s entirely possible that both vaping and tobacco companies have a Plan B tucked into their vests if the market does unravel.
Read on for the day’s news.
Sy Mukherjee, @the_sy_guy, email@example.com