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- 2012 - September - 25th -

Swisher CEO Ryan retiring: Ghiloni to move up

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Swisher International Inc. announced Monday that Tom Ryan will retire as president and CEO at year-end and will be succeeded by Peter Ghiloni, now senior vice president of marketing.

Ryan has held the position since 2004. He began his career in the industry in 1967 and served as president of Helme Tobacco Co. when it was acquired by American Maize Products Co., which owned Swisher, in 1986. The two operated separately until a 1994 merger, when Ryan was named executive vice president of marketing and sales.

“I am honored to have worked with so many talented people at Swisher through the years,” Ryan said in a news release.

He also said he was confident Ghiloni was the right person for Swisher’s next phase.

Ghiloni began his career in the tobacco business with the United States Tobacco Co. in 1972 and moved to Helme in 1983. He assumed his current role during the Swisher-Helme merger.

“While our industry faces many interesting challenges, I also see great opportunity and I’m optimistic about where our team can take this company,” Ghiloni said in the release.

Jacksonville-based Swisher is the country’s largest cigar exporter and sells a third of the nation’s cigars, according to a Daily Record interview with Ryan. It employs 1,300 people worldwide, including 900 in Jacksonville.

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