(Reuters) – The chief executive of British American Tobacco Nicandro Durante is preparing to step down in the wake of a sector-wide share price decline prompted by investor concerns over slowing sales growth, Sky News reported on Wednesday.
Durante is expected to leave the company at some point in the next year and likely to be replaced by an internal candidate, Sky News said, citing sources.
The precise timing of an announcement about the succession plan is unclear and one source told Sky it may not be imminent.
Jack Bowles, BAT’s chief operating officer, is regarded as the frontrunner to be the company’s new boss, although the chief marketing officer, Andrew Gray, is also rumoured to have been a contender for the role, Sky said.
British American Tobacco was not immediately available for comment outside business hours.
(Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans)