BAT COO resigns from Reynolds American board of directors..

August 20, 2010 - Reynolds American Inc. said today that Nicandro Durante, the chief operating officer (COO) of British American Tobacco PLC (BAT), will resign from the Reynolds board of directors, effective December 1, 2010.

In June, Durante was named by BAT, as the heir apparent to its chief executive post. He will take over as chief executive in late February 2011 when Paul Adams retires. Durante will become chief executive designate on September 1, 2010 BAT said. Durante joined BAT in 1981, and has served in senior management in Brazil, Hong Kong and Britain.

Durante joined the Reynolds board in 2008 as one of five BAT appointees. BAT owns 42 percent of Reynolds as part of the 2004 deal in which Reynolds bought Brown & Williamson Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of BAT.

Since that deal was completed, analysts have speculated that BAT would buy a majority ownership stake in Reynolds once a 10-year moratorium on buying more shares ends in 2014.

Reynolds said that John Daly, BAT's regional director for Asia-Pacific, has been nominated to succeed Durante, effective Dec. 1. Reynolds' board of directors will vote on Daly's nomination at its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 1.

Jane Seccombe, a Reynolds spokeswoman, said that under the terms of the governance agreement BAT would have the right to designate Durante's successor.

Reference: Durante to resign from Reynolds American board by Richard Craver Journal Reporter, Winston-Salem Journal, 8/18/2010.