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Alison Cooper to succeed Gareth Davis at Imperial Tobacco

10 Nov 2009. Imperial Tobacco Group announced today that Gareth Davis, 59, chief executive officer (CEO), will be retiring on 12 May 2010.

The board also said that Alison Cooper, currently Imperial Tobacco Group chief operating officer, will succeed Davis as CEO with effect from 13 May 2010. Davis and Cooper will continue to work closely together to ensure an orderly handover during the next six months.

During more than 37 years at Imperial Tobacco Davis has held a number of senior positions in the business. He was appointed CEO of Imperial Tobacco Limited in February 1996 and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Group PLC in August 1996. He led the successful demerger of the company from Hansonand its listing on the London Stock Exchange in October 1996. Under Davis's leadership, Imperial Tobacco Group has developed from a predominantly UK business into one of the world's leading international tobacco companies.

Cooper, 43, joined Imperial Tobacco in 1999 and has since held a number of senior roles. She was previously with PricewaterhouseCoopers where she had worked with Imperial Tobacco for several years in a number of areas, including acquisitions. She was appointed to the board as corporate development director in July 2007, with responsibility for strategic planning, business development and corporate affairs, and she was a key member of the Altadis acquisition team. She was appointed chief operating officer in March 2009, with additional responsibilities for all sales and marketing, manufacturing and cigar business activities. In June 2009 Alison joined Inchcape as a non-executive director. (ci)