(Reuters) - British American Tobacco Plc (BATS.L) said on Wednesday its board has identified a lead candidate to succeed Chief Executive Nicandro Durante, who has said he intends to retire on April 1, 2019, after nearly 37 years with the company.
BAT said a further announcement will be made in due course.
Sky News earlier said Durante was preparing to step down in the wake of a sector-wide share price decline prompted by investor concerns over slowing sales growth. (bit.ly/2xzvCU9)
Durante is likely to be replaced by an internal candidate, Sky News said, citing sources. Chief operating officer Jack Bowles is regarded as the frontrunner although chief marketing officer Andrew Gray is also rumored to be a contender, Sky said.
Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans and James Dalgleish