Personnel changes at Cubacigar Benelux. Long time Managing Director Tony Hoevenaars has left his position at Cubacigar Benelux after 16 years. On request of Habanos, he will move to Switzerland and continue his career in the Central European country.
With Hoevenaars leaving Cubacigar Benelux, there was a need for a replacement. Not one but two heavyweights from Habanos and Imperial Brands will join the team in Belgium. The new replacements are Rodrigo Crespo and Nestor Valeira. Crespo will be responsible for marketing while Valeira will handle the day to day business.
Habanos and Imperial Brands
Nestor Valeira joins Cubacigar Benelux from Habanos. His last role for Habanos was the director in charge of the La Casa del Habano franchise. In that role, he traveled the world to inspect all the La Casa del Habano stores and helped the concept grow to the powerhouse it is today.
Rodrigo Crespo comes over from Imperial Brands. Imperial Brands is 50% owner of Habanos, although they are currently in the process of selling their premium cigar division. Crespo is very experienced in the world of cigars. He was a senior brand manager and marketing manager in Spain for Altadis. Then he moved to Imperial Brands as a trade marketing development manager for the global duty-free market. He also fulfilled roles as Western Europe Manager Global Travel Retail, Global Activation Senior Manager, Head of Trade marketing France and Market Manager France.
The lawsuit against the Dutch government
Last year, Cubacigar Benelux unsuccessfully started a lawsuit against the Dutch state. The lawsuit was about new legislation for packaging that will hit the cigar market unfairly hard. Even though Cubacigar Benelux did not win the case, there was enough reason to appeal the decision. And so they did. The appeal is expected to take place this summer. Ministry of Cigars will keep you updated.