Martin heads Spanish comms at Altadis

Franco-Spanish tobacco company Altadis has put Miguel Angel Martin at the helm of its communications department in Madrid.

Martin replaces Jesus Echevarria, who has moved to a senior executive role at retailer Inditex, which owns the expansionist fashion chain Zara.

Martin will head a ten-strong Spanish communications team, reporting to Paris-based group communications director Isabelle Ockrent.

Prior to the appointment, Martin worked for seven years as the company's Spanish media relations director.  Altadis has not yet decided whether this post will be re-filled, according to a company spokeswoman.

Altadis, struggling under falling tobacco sales, recently emerged from a major restructure which resulted in 1,500 job losses across Spain and France.  Top name Fortuna and cheaper brand Ducados are both losing out due to aggressive competition from low-cost rivals Red, Elixier and Next.  Tobacco tax increases and increased anti-smoking government campaigns are also making their mark.

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