Kretek International Restructures, Ventura Cigar Co. Staff Reduced (Update)


Kretek International, the parent company of Phillips & King International, Tobacco Media Group and Ventura Cigar Co. is undergoing a major restructuring that will include layoffs throughout the company.

For Ventura Cigar Co., which is Kretek’s premium cigar outfit, the company’s staff has been reduced from nine to three. The total number of layoffs at Kretek is unknown.


“There’s a lot of things that the organization is restructuring and unfortunately some of my sales guys are no longer with us,” said Michael Giannini, general manager of Ventura Cigar Co., in a statement to halfwheel.

Giannini said the company is undergoing an overall restructuring due to the costs associated with regulation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Phillips & King, which claims to be the largest tobacco distributor in the U.S. has a portfolio that includes a variety of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products.

Ventura’s cigars brands include Archetype, PSyKo SEVEN and others.

Erik Stokkebye, of the famous pipe family, was also part of the cuts, though the company will continue selling pipes and pipe tobacco.

Update (Nov. 3, 2019) — Added additional info.

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Charlie Minato
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I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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