The chief executive of Reynolds American, which was taken over by British American Tobacco in July this year, will leave the group at the end of the year — six months after it was announced she would remain at the helm once the deal was complete.

Debra Crew took over the top job at Reynolds — which makes Camel and Pall Mall cigarettes — last year.

She stayed on as president and chief executive of the unit after BAT took control in the $49.4bn deal, reporting to BAT president and chief executive Nicandro Durante. Reynolds’ chief financial officer Andrew Gilchrist decided to resign when the deal to create the world’s largest listed tobacco company by sales was finalised.

Ms Crew will leave on December 31 “to pursue other opportunities outside the company”, BAT said. Ricardo Oberlander, currently regional director for the Americas will now take up the role.

Mr Durante said:

We have appreciated the drive and leadership that Debra has brought to Reynolds American – both during our 42% shareholding period before the acquisition and since, when she has been instrumental in helping to ensure a smooth transition post-completion.

Ricardo has been with the BAT Group for nearly 30 years, on the Management Board since 2013, and was on the Board of Reynolds for the last three years. He is ideally placed to lead our continued growth in the US and to complete the successful integration of the RAI businesses into the BAT Group.

(Photo: Reuters)

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