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Bridge Award Profiles: Michael E. Szymanczyk
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National Bridge Awards

2015 Richard A. Gonzalez

2014 Jonas Prising 

2012 William C. Weldon

2010 John T. Chambers
2009 Michael E. Szymanczyk
2008 Indra K. Nooyi
2007 Ronald A. Williams
2006 H. Lee Scott, Jr.
2005 Jeffrey Noddle
2004 Ivan G. Seidenberg


Chicago Bridge Awards

2015 Jim Skogsbergh

2014 Robert L. Parkinson, Jr. 

2013 Don Thompson

2012 Gregory D. Wasson

2011 Patricia Hemingway Hall

2010 Frederick H. Waddell

2009 Gregory C. Case

2007 Robert W. Lane

2006 James Skinner

2005 John W. Rowe


Bridge Advocate Awards

2015 Pat Harris

2010 Maestro Paul Freeman

2009 James C. Tyree

2006 John W. Rogers, Jr.

2004 Roel C. Campos

"At Altria, our people make their best decisions when they consider a variety of perspectives. That includes diversity – of race, gender, background and professional experience. The importance of how we go about it is clearly stated in our mission and values. We know it’s important to attract, develop and retain diverse employees – at all levels. We accomplish this by creating an environment where people can contribute through collaborative processes to make the most of their talents and ideas."


Michael E. Szymanczyk
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Altria Group, Inc.

Michael E. Szymanczyk is chairman and chief executive officer of Altria Group, Inc., a position he has held since March 2008.

Altria directly or indirectly owns 100 percent of each of Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, John Middleton Co., Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. In addition, Altria holds a continuing economic and voting interest in SABMiller plc. Under Mr. Szymanczyk’s leadership, Altria delivered 2008 net revenues of $19.4 billion. Altria’s stable of strong brands, together with a proven ability of growing and adapting in a changing industry, have resulted in sustained financial performance and a record of reliable return for its shareholders.

Mr. Szymanczyk joined Philip Morris USA in 1990 as senior vice president of sales. He held a number of executive positions at Philip Morris USA and was appointed chairman, president and CEO of that company in 2002. Previously, he had extensive consumer products experience in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble and Kraft.

Mr. Szymanczyk maintains that the toughest businesses require the best people, and that, in the end, success comes from applying good judgment to good ideas. It’s his opinion that a diverse organization inherently has more of both.

Altria and its family of companies have a rich history of diversity and inclusion. Three decades before civil rights became law, Philip Morris USA voluntarily integrated its workforce despite subsequent boycotts in the south. Philip Morris USA made its first corporate donation in the mid-1950s to the United Negro College Fund, and the company went on to provide substantial and regular contributions to a host of diverse, civic-oriented nonprofits.

In 1970, the company’s Virginia Slims brand became the first corporate sponsor of women’s tennis, enabling the sport’s first professional tour and some much-deserved parity with men’s tennis.

Philip Morris USA was a founding member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in 1987, and Altria was a founding member of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility’s Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Program.

In recent years, Altria earned DiversityInc.’s recognition for “Top Ten Companies for Supplier Diversity,” and was ranked by DiversityInc. as one of the “Top 10 Companies for African-Americans” and as a company that values diversity.

Mr. Szymanczyk currently serves on several boards of trustees including: The University of Richmond, The United Negro College Fund and The Richmond Performing Arts Center. Mr. Szymanczyk received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University in 1971.


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