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Philip Morris Appoints In-House Veteran Guérin as New Chief Legal Officer
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Philip Morris International Inc. has recently announced the promotion of Yann Guérin as the new general counsel, following the departure of Suzanne Rich Folsom, the former legal chief. Guérin has been with the company for nearly 18 years and has held various legal and compliance positions within PMI. Most recently, he served as the associate general counsel for corporate, where he played a key role as lead counsel in PMI’s $16 billion acquisition of Swedish Match AB.

Folsom, an experienced law department head and former Big Law practice leader, had served as the cigarette maker’s top lawyer for three years. However, as stated in PMI’s official statement, she stepped down from her position as of July 1 to relocate back to the Washington area. Despite her departure, Folsom will continue to contribute to PMI as a senior strategic advisor on a consulting basis, particularly as the company focuses on making the US one of its most significant markets. PMI, known for its popular brands such as Marlboro and IQOS, a heated tobacco and smoke-free electronic cigarette product, recently reached a $2.7 billion deal with Altria Group Inc., its former parent company, to sell IQOS in the US starting in 2025. Additionally, PMI is entering the US market through its acquisition of Stockholm-based smokeless tobacco and nicotine pouch maker Swedish Match, a deal in which DLA Piper and Nordic law firm Roschier provided legal counsel to PMI.

While PMI is operationally based in Switzerland, it established its corporate headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, in the summer of the previous year. Folsom, who joined PMI in mid-2020, brought extensive experience from her prior role as co-chair of the investigations, compliance, and strategic response group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. Her professional background also includes serving as the top lawyer for US Steel Corp. and Academi LLC, previously known as Blackwater, a private military contractor.

  
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As for Guérin, PMI’s newly appointed general counsel, he began his career as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a renowned international law firm.

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These recent developments highlight PMI’s commitment to shaping its legal leadership and expanding its presence in the US market. With Guérin taking the reins as general counsel, the company aims to leverage his extensive experience to drive legal strategies and ensure compliance in the ever-evolving landscape of the tobacco industry.

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