TAAT® Appoints Former Altria and PMI Leader Michael Saxon as CEO
Michael Saxon, who has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of TAAT®, served in various positions for over 20 years with Altria and PMI including heading Altria’s Corporate Venture Fund and leading PMI’s business activities as General Manager for Norway and Denmark. He has led business units with full profit and loss (P&L) responsibility ranging from USD $100 million to USD $3 billion while consistently delivering record business results.
LAS VEGAS and VANCOUVER, JUNE 20, 2022 - TAAT® GLOBAL ALTERNATIVES INC. (CSE: TAAT) (OTCQX: TOBAF) (FRANKFURT: 2TP) (the “Company” or “TAAT®”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Saxon, a 20-year global veteran of the tobacco industry, as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Saxon has been on the TAAT® Advisory Board since late 2020 (as announced in a press release dated October 1, 2020). With considerable experience in attaining profitable market penetration for tobacco products in the United States and several international markets, Mr. Saxon is expected to be instrumental to the Company’s ability to scale the footprint of TAAT® at a global level. Former CEO Setti Coscarella will remain available to the Company as an Advisor.
Michael Saxon is an accomplished consumer products executive with over 25 years of experience growing Fortune 100 businesses in the United States, Europe, and Asia, having successfully influenced government policy and led business units with full P&L responsibility from USD $100 million to USD $3 billion while operating in different regulatory systems. His career reflects a demonstrated history of setting record income and market share results in a wide range of market conditions and succeeding in various go-to-market models, including wholesale, distributor, and DSD. He brings a strong, innovative mindset from his experience creating new products and brands and having been the catalyst for successful large-scale transformation initiatives to drive organic growth and executing M&A transactions to enter new markets. Mr. Saxon served in various positions for over 20 years with Altria Group and Philip Morris International (PMI). Most recently, he helped create Trolley Ventures, a Richmond, VA venture capital firm investing in early-stage start-ups.
Mr. Saxon, who is now Chief Executive Officer of TAAT®, served in various positions for over 20 years with Altria and PMI including heading Altria’s Corporate Venture Fund and leading PMI’s business activities as General Manager for Norway and Denmark. He has led business units with full profit and loss (P&L) responsibility ranging from USD $100 million to USD $3 billion while consistently delivering record business results.
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“I’m excited to be joining the TAAT® team,” said Michael Saxon. “This is an exhilarating time in our industry, and TAAT® is positioned to be a disruptor. With about eighteen months of actual market and consumer feedback, I believe TAAT® is in an ideal position to accelerate its commercialization efforts. This will include focusing our efforts on the large and profitable USA market, while our product development team leverages their capabilities to develop other Beyond Tobacco™ products that can further disrupt the USA and other international markets. There is a tremendous market opportunity for the company, and I am eager to launch new initiatives to accelerate adult consumer adoption of TAAT®.”
Former CEO and Director Setti Coscarella stated, “It has been my pleasure to lead TAAT® through our initial years and through the pandemic. At this point, I am satisfied the company is in an excellent position to hand direction over to Mr. Saxon, and I am pleased to be continuing my participation as an Advisor.
The Company announces that it has granted an aggregate of 1,750,000 incentive stock options (“Options”) to directors and officers. The Options have an exercise price of $0.85 per common share (each a “Share”) and are valid for a five-year period from the date of grant. 1,500,000 of the Options will vest quarterly over a period of two years from issuance, starting on the 91st day of grant. The Options were granted in accordance with the Company’s stock option plan.
In connection with Mr. Saxon’s appointment to the Board of Directors and as CEO, the Company has also granted him 1,000,000 restricted share units (“RSUs”) under the Company’s shareholder approved restricted share unit plan (the “RSU Plan”). The RSUs will vest quarterly over a period of two years from issuance, starting on the 91st day of grant and shall entitle Mr. Saxon the ability to acquire one Share of the Company underlying each such RSU by delivering a notice of acquisition to the Company in accordance with the RSU Plan. In accordance with the RSU Plan, the RSUs were priced at $0.85 based on the closing price of the Shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) on June 17, 2022.
TAAT® hereby announces that Setti Coscarella has resigned from his positions as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Company, effective immediately. The Company would like to thank Mr. Coscarella for his contributions in establishing the product and brand and wishes him well in his future endeavours.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Company,
TAAT® GLOBAL ALTERNATIVES INC.
Joe Deighan, COO and Director
For further information, please contact:
TAAT® Investor Relations
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About TAAT® Global Alternatives Inc.
TAAT® develops, manufactures, and distributes alternative products in categories to include tobacco, hemp, kratom, and other emerging segments of the CPG industry. Its flagship product is a nicotine-free, tobacco-free cigarette with a patent-pending base material formulation, sold in over 2,700 U.S. stores. With over CAD $80 million in overall net revenue in 2021, TAAT®’s facilities include a manufacturing plant in Nevada, as well as a distribution centre and multiple convenience stores in Ohio.
For more information, please visit http://taatglobal.com.
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Often, but not always, forward-looking information and information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur, or be achieved. Forward-looking information in this news release includes statements regarding the anticipated performance of TAAT® in the tobacco industry, in addition to the following: Potential outcomes from the appointment of Michael Saxon as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and the transition of Setti Coscarella from his former roles as Chief Executive Officer and director to being a member of the TAAT® Board of Advisors effective immediately. The forward-looking information reflects management’s current expectations based on information currently available and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed timeframes or at all. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include: (i) adverse market conditions; (ii) changes to the growth and size of the tobacco markets; (iii) changes to the regulatory landscape applicable to the Company's business; and (iv) other factors beyond the control of the Company. The Company operates in a rapidly evolving environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time, and it is impossible for the Company’s management to predict all risk factors, nor can the Company assess the impact of all factors on Company’s business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking information. The forward-looking information included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
The statements in this news release have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As each individual is different, the benefits, if any, of taking the Company’s products will vary from person to person. No claims or guarantees can be made as to the effects of the Company’s products on an individual’s health and well-being. The Company’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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