Eddy Pirard, a Belgian national, was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2017. JTI, a tobacco and vaping company, operates in over 130 counties with over 45,000 employees worldwide.
After graduating with a Business degree from Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) in Belgium in 1985, he joined P&G and worked on the integration of Richardson Vicks. Eddy went on to study for an MBA at Harvard Business School, graduating in 1991. He then joined McKinsey & Co, where he specialized in fast moving consumer goods and worked across a wide range of disciplines and industries in both Europe and the US.
In 1996, Eddy moved to the tobacco sector, heading Business Development at Gallaher Group Plc, an international FTSE 100 company, based in the UK. After a two year period outside of the Company, co-founding a start-up business in the e-commerce sector, he returned to Gallaher in 2002 to successfully lead the cigar and other tobacco products division.
Following the acquisition of Gallaher by JT Group (listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange) in 2007, Eddy was promoted to President of the UK and Ireland region, and then in 2010, his remit grew to become Regional President for Western Europe, where he was instrumental in growing the business in 13 markets.
In 2014, Eddy became the global Head of Business Development, leading significant M&A and expansion activity, as well as spearheading JTI’s entry into the vaping market, with the acquisitions of the brands E-Lites and Logic.
Since April 2017, when Eddy was promoted to the role of President and CEO of JTI, he has led the expansion of the business, growing from 27,000 to over 45,000 employees, concluding 5 major acquisitions - including 3 in Asia, as well as leading the transformation of JTI, with in excess of $1bn investment into products that have reduced-risk potential.
Separately to JTI’s commercial activities, Eddy is the President of the JTI Foundation, an organization whose mission is to help less privileged people and victims of natural or man-made disasters improve their quality of life. He is also a member of the Governance Council of HEC Liege, his alma mater.