Best Female CEOs #4 — Susan Cameron (Reynolds American)
Susan Cameron is back in the saddle, running Reynolds American (RAI) again after a two-year hiatus to recharge her batteries and spend more time with her family. Cameron’s last stint had her running RAI for seven years until her departure in February 2011.
The largest RAI largest shareholder is currently British American Tobacco (BTI) at 42%. The moratorium that prevents BTI from buying RAI shares is expiring at the end of July, so it seems logical that BTI will acquire a majority stake or even 100% control of the Winston-Salem company. Cameron served as Brown & Williamson’s top executive until it was acquired by Reynolds American in 2004, when she was promoted to head the entire company.
With a solid understanding of the cigarette business, Susan Cameron is the perfect person to take over for retiring CEO Daan Delen. When she departed the company, Cameron left the business in excellent financial shape. Now that it appears BTI will come courting, it’s also appropriate to think RAI will take a run at Lorillard (LO). Whatever happens, it’s good for shareholders that one of the best female CEOs anywhere is running the show.