You’ve been at Philip Morris International for more than 25 years. Has it changed?
From the product perspective, the company is very different. But in its DNA, I don’t think it’s changed. It’s who we are that brought us to where we are today.
What’s the unchanging part of the culture?
In 1991, I quickly recognized how entrepreneurial this company was, how brave and ready to take on challenges. By 1997, we started trials of our first smoke-free product, the Accord. It was ahead of the curve from a technological point of view. The first time I talked to André Calantzopoulos about it, in 1999, he was still one of the regional presidents, and I was a managing director. He was saying, “We have to address the product issues.” Twenty years ago, he was absolutely convinced that we had to start a transformation from conventional products to products that provide a solution for the major challenge of cigarettes. And a major part of that challenge is the combustion.