2009 Philip Morris
International -- 1st
York, NY, USA -- Meeting Smoke-Free
Activists from many parts of the USA
and the world participated in protesting the nicotine cartel's
continued marketing of addictive and lethal products. This is a
moral and health issue. Philip Morris in all its various formats
has never stopped producing and marketing products which addict and
kill when used as intended, and the company has yet to apologize for
this, much less change its mode of existence, building each profit on
the backs and the coffins of the suffering and dying consumers and on
their families who suffer as well.
Protests were expressed inside the meeting, and outside.
Attendance inside tobacco company shareholder meetings is strictly
limited to persons owning stock, or persons who grant permission to
someone else to take their place and represent them at the shareholder
meeting. This all has to be cleared in advance with the tobacco
Louis Camilleri, the former CEO of Altria/Philip Morris, is a well paid
master of the sneer and the sarcastic gesture. Each year he seeks
to downplay opposition by making it appear that he is waging a battle
against simple misunderstandings about his company. The plain
truth is that he is a well paid, expensively dressed, but very greedy
little drug pusher. Governments allow him to push his
drugs. But he is still a drug pusher.
EXCERPTS from The New York Times,
May 6, 2009, "Philip Morris Meeting Mixes Tobacco Profit and
Antismoking Protest", Duff Wilson.
was a meeting of big numbers.
Philip Morris International emphasized
its 2008 profit: $16.3 billion on the sale of 850 billion cigarettes
outside the United States.
Meanwhile, antitobacco advocates in
the audience chose to cite the estimated 5.4 million people around the
globe who died last year from smoking-related causes.
The meeting, in a hotel ballroom at
the Grand Hyatt in Midtown Manhattan, was the first annual shareholder
event since Philip Morris split off its international unit last year as
a separate business from the American tobacco operations, to pursue
markets beyond the borders and burdens of United States litigation and
Louis C. Camilleri, the chairman of
Philip Morris International, noted that profits rose from a broad range
of price increases, even as sales of cigarette units were virtually
flat. Highlighting figures previously released, Mr. Camilleri said the
company’s revenue was up 6.6 percent last year, to $25.7 billion,
excluding excise taxes.
“We have demonstrated our ability to
use pricing in order to improve profitability even in recessionary
times,” Mr. Camilleri said. First-quarter 2009 sales increased another
6.3 percent, he said, “driven by price increases across a broad range
While many in the audience of about
200 shareholders seemed pleased with the data, about 30 dissidents in
the room used the event to protest smoking’s toll.
During an hourlong question session, a
dozen critics confronted Mr. Camilleri, with remarks that included “Why
are you marketing to children in Africa?” and “Stop targeting
He repeatedly rebutted the questioners
as ill informed or wrong. “Again, please, try to get your facts
straight,” he told one critic.
One woman said that rather than having
Mr. Camilleri “disrespect” a direct question from her, she would ask
for a minute of silence for people who died last year from
The ballroom fell silent for a minute as the ventilation system whirred.
Then Mr. Camilleri said, “Thank you” and took the next question, from a
supportive shareholder ...
the meeting, as a video tribute to the company’s global
played on a giant screen, six
people in the audience, their heads
covered with black hoods, held signs about the global death toll from
smoking. One read “WORLD: 14,700/day”
Among items up for vote, shareholders
approved Mr. Camilleri’s eligibility for $9.4 million in incentive pay
for 2008, making his total compensation $32 million, for what the proxy
statement termed “the exceptional job he has done in leading P.M.I. to
record operating performance and results.”
That was up from the $24 billion in
compensation Mr. Camilleri made the previous year, as chairman of
Philip Morris’s parent, Altria.
Added May 6, 2009