There’s no other way to say it: Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG), particularly its premium cigar division, is changing.
The latest move will come for the company’s international division, which will now be headed by Stijn Elbersen.
Elbersen is currently STG’s senior international brand manager of international hand-made cigars, effective April 1 he will become the senior mangers of sales marketing for hand-made cigars outside of the U.S.
While the difference in title might seem like semantics, the role and scope will change. Currently, Elbersen oversees the international sales of the brands that make up the General Cigar Co. portfolio. However, many of these brands are Cuban names where STG doesn’t hold the trademark rights. As such, the international portfolio centers largely around CAO, Don Tomás and Macanudo.
Now, Elbersen and his team will be responsible for all STG brands including those that were part of the Meier & Dutch portfolio, which were previously distributed internationally by Meier & Dutch’s own U.S.-based team. Meier & Dutch is the name for the distribution company that handles many of the cigars sold primarily through STG’s Cigars International retail store.
In an email to halfwheel he explained that the distribution of Meier & Dutch brands has been limited so far and that his team would focus first on the Diesel, Man O’ War and Reposado brands.
“With 17 years of experience in the field of sales and marketing, I am confident that Stijn Elbersen will successfully manage the International Hand-Made Cigars team and product portfolio to grow the business,” said Craig Reynolds, evp of handmade cigars globally, in a press release. “The International Hand-Made Cigars team will work closely with General Cigar and Cigars International to serve the markets as efficiently as possible and deliver a portfolio that fits the needs of these markets. This collaboration and strategy will grow our Group’s hand-made cigar volume outside the US in the fastest and most profitable way.”
This is the latest in a string of moves at STG and its subsidiary, General Cigar Co.
A year ago, Niels Frederiksen was appointed ceo of STG after Anders Colding Friis resigned in the previous year. Late last year, Dan Carr was fired as president of General Cigar Co. and replaced by Régis Broersma as president while Craig Reynolds was promoted from head of Cigars International to overseeing both Cigars International as well as STG’s entire handmade cigar portfolio.