Former SABMiller deputy general counsel joins JTI as Western Europe GC

Former SABMiller deputy general counsel John Fraser has joined Japan International Tobacco (JTI) as regional general counsel for western Europe.

Fraser took up his new role at JTI – which produces cigarette brands such as Winston, Camel, Mild Seven, Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut – this September, after leaving SABMiller at the end of last year in the wake of its multibillion-pound takeover by drinks rival AB InBev.

He is taking over the western Europe GC role at JTI from Herminie Simonetta, who has decided to pursue other interests outside the company, and will report into senior vice-president of legal and scientific regulatory affairs Wade Wright.

Fraser spent just over a year at SABMiller, where he led the regulatory and industry affairs group and advised the board and executive committee on regulatory, reputation and policy matters.

Prior to joining the drinks company in October 2015, he was managing partner of the London and Geneva offices of US law firm Shook Hardy & Bacon, before which he was deputy general counsel at tobacco company Philip Morris International.

Former SABMiller GC John Davidson, who stepped down following the takeover, is now acting as an “independent consultant on governance, corporate affairs and business issues”, according to his LinkedIn profile, which also notes that he has taken up a non-executive directorship at Irish whiskey distillery Sliabh Liag.

Long-serving AB InBev general counsel Sabine Chalmers also recently left the company, and has been succeeded by vice-president for corporate affairs and legal John Blood.

Fraser’s move to JTI comes after former Network Rail group general counsel and company secretary Suzanne Wise joined the company this summer in a non-legal role, as senior vice-president for corporate development. She was succeeded as group GC at Network Rail by her deputy, Stuart Kelly.

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