Juul Labs Inc. said Wednesday that Chief Executive Kevin Burns has decided to step down, to be succeeded effective immediately by K.C. Crosthwaite who was previously chief strategy and growth officer at Altria Group Inc. (NYS:MO) . The e-cigarette company as part of its broad review of practices, it is suspending all broadcast, print and digital product advertising in the U.S., and will refrain from lobbying the Trump administration on its draft guidance. The announcement comes after a crackdown on e-cigarettes by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration following a recent outbreak of severe lung disease that appears to be related to vaping. Altria, which announced Wednesday that it has ended merger talks with Philip Morris International Inc. (NYS:PM) to focus instead on launching IQOS smoke-free products, had paid $12.8 billion in December for a 35% stake in Juul. "I have long believed in a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose alternative products like Juul," Crosthwaite said. "Unfortunately, today that future is at risk due to unacceptable levels of youth usage and eroding public confidence in our industry."
Sept. 25, 2019, 7:52 a.m. EDT