Jim Colucci, a 37-year veteran of the cigar industry and the executive vice president of sales and marketing for Altadis U.S.A. Inc., is retiring from the company at the end of July. The news broke this morning via an email announcement from Altadis U.S.A. president and chief executive officer Gary R. Ellis.
Colucci turns 65 on July 6 and intends to leave ten days after the tobacco industry trade show at IPCPR in Las Vegas concludes on July 21. Colucci said he may do some consulting with the company after his departure.
"I'm not retiring—I'm just ending my career here," said Colucci this morning. "I still love the company. We had a great run. It will be almost 35 years [at Altadis] when I leave."
Colucci said, "I have the golden numbers," as he's turning 65 this year and has been at Altadis U.S.A. (which was called Consolidated Cigar Corp. when he began working there) for 34 years.
Colucci said he has a non-compete clause in his contract prohibiting him from working on the cigarmaking side of the business for a year, but no such prohibition on cigar retailing. "You might see me in the retail side real quick," he said.
Javier Estades will be taking over Colucci's role, said Colucci, and will take on the new title of "general manager, premium cigars U.S.A." Estades is currently stationed in Madrid.
Colucci joined the cigar industry after working for General Foods and Kraft. His first job was assistant eastern manager for Consolidated Cigar Corp. (which later became a part of Altadis U.S.A. Inc.). He originally only worked on Consolidated's mass-market cigars, and was brand manager for the famous El Producto brand, as well as a small machine-made brand called La Palina (which is no longer owned by Altadis and is now made by hand.) He later moved into the premium cigar segment, overseeing all of Altadis U.S.A. Inc.'s brands, including the Dominican Montecristo, H. Upmann and Romeo y Julieta cigars.
"During the past years, Jim has been a wonderful boss, unparalleled mentor and valued friend," wrote Janelle Rosenfeld, vice president of premium cigar marketing and communications for Altadis U.S.A., in an email. She and Ellis both wished Colucci the best in the future.