Philip Morris' comms staffers wrenched from NY to Switzerland

NEW YORK: Philip Morris International (PMI) is uprooting its

corporate communications group from suburban New York to Lausanne,

Switzerland as part of a larger move of the corporate headquarters.



Within the next 12 months PR staff and senior managers, including Jack

Nelson, PMI president and CEO, will move from the New York offices at

Rye Brook to Lausanne.



Corporate affairs staff in Rye Brook, which includes those in PR, are

being asked whether they want to move to Switzerland. How many of the

six communications staff will move has not been determined, said Robert

Kaplan, communications and corporate affairs director.



PMI is the part of Philip Morris Companies that sells cigarettes outside

the US. It accounted for about one-third of all Philip Morris operating

revenues last year. Nelson said that moving his headquarters to

Switzerland makes business sense given that the company already oversees

its European, African and Middle East business from Lausanne, where Remi

Calvet serves as director of communications for Philip Morris

Europe.



PMI's Latin American Group will remain in New York.



"By the end of 2001, you'll see much of the headquarters move done, by

the end of 2002, you'll see all of it done," said Kaplan.



The move is unlikely to impact PR agency relationships, Kaplan said.



PMI has no agency of record, working with various agencies around the

world on individual projects.



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