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Written by Kevin Godbee

Monday, 27 October 2008

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daniel nunez retires from general cigar

Daniel Núñez, COO of General Cigar Co, owned by Swedish Match, announced that, he would retire in the spring of 2009. Nunez, a brilliant Master Blender in addition to being a talented executive, joined the Cullman owned General thirty-four (34) years go, after graduating from Texas A&M. He rose to the top when the purchase of the company was completed in 2005.

He retires to "spend more time with his family, and pursue other interests," which is pretty much a 'boiler plate' statement when it comes to retirement. He will, undoubtedly maintain some sort of advisory, if not a consulting, relationship.

At 57, Nunez has some health concerns as well; having suffered two (2) heart attacks in the past few years.

A hands on executive, Nunez pays extremely knowledgeable attention to everything from agronomy to tobacco growing, blending and manufacturing. During the ProCigar Festival in March '08, he happily took attendees on a very thorough tour of the plantations at Mau, which included showing off the pigs. In 2006 he was behind the introduction of General's Stradivarius, at the Houston RTDA. A beautifully packaged $35 cigar that some deemed to be more of a 'halo' product than one that would be widely smoked.

In his work, Nunez traveled widely and, almost constantly.

He will be succeeded by Dan Carr, the Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing, who joined General, as VP Sales, in 1996. Another accomplished executive, Nunez lauded Carr as the logical chose for COO and a superb executive.

Núñez and his wife, Mary, make their home in the Dominican Republic, where he was born and raised. They have three (2) daughters and two (2) grandsons, who he spends as much time as possible with, in spite of traveling widely and frequently.

This may not be the only significant change at General, as Ernesto Perez Carillo, the former owner of La Gloria Cubana, sold to Swedish Match during the boom of the ‘90s, is also, rumored to be preparing to retire.

From left to right: Kevin Godbee (Cigar Review Founder), Victoria McKee, (General Cigar Director of Public Relations) and Daniel Núñez, (retiring COO of General Cigar Co.) at the IPCPR Show July 2008.

From left to right: Kevin Godbee (Cigar Review Founder), Victoria McKee, (General Cigar Director of Public Relations) and Daniel Núñez, (retiring COO of General Cigar Co.) at the IPCPR Show July 2008.

Here is the press release received on Friday October 24, 2008:

General Cigar Announces Daniel Núñez’ Retirement

Richmond, VA— General Cigar announced today that Daniel Núñez, president and chief operating officer, will retire during the second quarter of 2009, but will remain on as an advisor to the company and its parent company, Swedish Match.

“After 34 years with General Cigar, I felt it was time to step down so that I can spend more time with my family and pursue other interests. Even still, tobacco is in my soul and I look forward to acting as an advisor to the company after my retirement,” said Núñez.

Lennart Freeman, president and chief executive officer of Swedish Match comments, “I thank Daniel for his years of tireless service to the company and look forward to continuing to tap into his wealth of knowledge about the tobacco industry. Daniel is doing an excellent job of preparing the people who work for him to continue to drive the business going forward.”

A graduate of Texas A & M, Daniel is one of the cigar industry’s most revered masters. Throughout his tenure at General Cigar, Daniel has made great strides in the quality of tobacco and finished cigars produced by General Cigar. An “Aggie” at heart, Daniel was also instrumental in developing new and improved farming methods and creating new varieties of tobacco. He is largely credited with helping to establish the Dominican tobacco industry and bringing it to international prominence.

Daniel has developed General Cigar’s farming operations into the most sophisticated in Latin America. He is credited with bringing to market top selling premium cigar brands including but not limited to Macanudo®, the best-selling premium cigar brand in the U.S., as well as Partagas®, Cohiba®, Punch®, Hoyo de Monterrey® and Excalibur®. Stated Nunez, “General Cigar is a strong organization with the highest quality brands, tobacco, and people and I know the employees of General Cigar will be in an excellent position to grow the business into the future.”

True to his roots and devoted to his country, Daniel is committed to giving back to the people of the Dominican Republic. He has been instrumental in developing a comprehensive corporate citizenship program that supports literacy, education and reforestation and provides food and other forms of assistance to company employees and to Dominican people.

He resides in the Dominican Republic with his wife Mary and is the proud father of three daughters and two grandsons.

Upon Daniel’s retirement from General Cigar, Dan Carr, currently the company’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, will succeed Mr. Nunez as chief operating officer. Nunez stated, “I have known Dan for many years and I am confident that he will be a dedicated leader of the General Cigar organization.” Dan rejoined General Cigar in 2007 after serving in both senior level sales and marketing roles within Swedish Match since 1999, and previously, as vice president of sales for General Cigar since 1996.

Commented Mr. Freeman, “Dan has more than a decade of experience with the Swedish Match/General Cigar organization, and I am confident that he will be prepared to successfully lead our premium cigar business going forward.”

General Cigar Co. Inc. manufactures and markets handcrafted cigars for the premium market. Committed to delivering cigars of the finest quality, General Cigar produces Macanudo®, Partagas, Cohiba®, Punch®, Hoyo de Monterrey, Excalibur, La Gloria Cubana® and several other leading premium brands. In addition, the company grows its own premium Connecticut Shade wrapper tobacco, as well as natural and candela wrapper in the Dominican Republic. General Cigar also operates Club Macanudo®, a cigar bar in New York City. Based in Richmond, VA, General Cigar sells through tobacconists nationwide. For more information about General Cigar, please visit www.cigarworld.com.

® Macanudo, Partagas, Cohiba, Punch, Hoyo de Monterrey, Excalibur and Club Macanudo are registered trademarks of General Cigar Co. Inc.
 




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