Altria Group’s board of directors has elected Kathryn B. McQuade to serve as the independent chair of the board effective upon the conclusion of Altria’s 2021 annual meeting of shareholders on May 20, 2021.
“I am thrilled with Kathryn’s selection to be Altria’s next independent board chair,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s CEO, in a statement. “I believe that her significant expertise, including in finance, business strategy and working within regulated industries, will help advance our focus on moving beyond smoking.”
McQuade, who joined the board in 2012, will be the first woman to serve as Altria’s chair of the board and will oversee a board on which more than 72 percent of its members are women or racially or ethnically diverse.
“I am honored to take on the role of independent board chair for Altria,” said McQuade. “I look forward to continuing to work with the board and Altria’s dedicated leadership team in pursuit of its vision.”
McQuade served as senior advisor of Canadian Pacific Railway, a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States, from November 2012 to May 2013, after previously serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Canadian Pacific from September 2008 until her retirement in November 2012.
McQuade joined Canadian Pacific in June 2007 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Canadian Pacific, McQuade served as executive vice president-planning and chief information officer at Norfolk Southern Corp. where she spent 27 years in key information technology, strategic planning and finance leadership positions.
McQuade serves as chair of the nominating, corporate governance and social responsibility committee and is a member of the audit, compensation and talent development and executive committees.
Altria’s former independent board chairman, Thomas F. Farrell II, passed away in April 2021. He had planned to retire following completion of his current term and was not standing for reelection to the board at the 2021 annual meeting of shareholders.