DURBAN – Tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT) has shaken up its executive structure with the creation of two positions in an effort to boost  its strategy. 

BAT said on Friday that it had appointed Paul Lageweg as director for new categories and Marina Bellini as director for digital and information. 

The roles are effective from January 1, the JSE-listed company said. It said it had scrapped the role of chief operating officer and group business development director. 

Group chief executive Nicandro Durante said the FTSE 100 company had established a successful strategy to transform its business. Durante also expected the new roles to enable the group to execute this strategy better and faster. 

Durante will step down as chief executive on April 1 and will be succeeded by Jack Bowles. The group also made changes to the board with the appointment of Tadeu Marocco, currently regional director, Europe and North Africa as director of group transformation. 

Johan Vandermeulen, regional director: Asia-Pacific and Middle East will succeed Tadeu. Bowles said it was important that the skill set and focus of the management board reflects the environment they were operating in.