La Palina cigar company owner Bill Paley announced this week the formation of a new executive team that he believes will help his company "reach the next level" in 2016.
Paley has named Clay Roberts as the new co-president and chief operating officer of La Palina while Sam Phillips will serve as co-president. Mike Massey, who's been consulting with Paley since April 2014 and previously worked in the private equity sector, is now the company's chief financial officer.
"My philosophy is to keep on finding the best, and these guys are that," said Paley during a phone interview on Tuesday.
Roberts first came into the cigar industry with Rocky Patel Premium Cigars in 2007 and then moved on to become the executive vice president of AJ Fernandez for about five years before spending a year at Alec Bradley Cigar Co. Roberts officially left Alec Bradley on Monday.
Phillips joined the cigar industry in 1996 as an employee of Rocky Patel Premium Cigars (then called Indian Tabac). In 2011, he left to become the vice president of marketing for Alec Bradley Cigars, where he served until January of this year.
According to Paley, the team is already working on new lines for 2016 that will be more price-conscious than prior La Palina offerings.