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Date of publication: Jan 29, 2018

Paul Riley

President of the East Asian and Australia Region
Philip Morris
www.pmi.com

Date of birth: Oct. 22, 1965

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 6 (as of December 2017)

Paul Riley
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I clearly remember the first time I visited the store and the detail that went into packing the fruit I had purchased. The time and effort that went into it, I almost felt bad consuming it! Given the developing countries I had come from previously, I thought this is a paradise and it turns out that has been the case in a number of ways! 

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

“The sun always comes up the next day.” I think in our busy personal and work lifestyles, the little issues and problems sometimes get magnified more than they should, but it’s important to continually keep things in perspective. I try and focus on the positive side of most things, perhaps naively, but it’s where I get my energy.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

Without a doubt it’s the opportunity I’ve had to positively impact the development of people. When I look back over my career it’s not really the business results that I think about. The pride I feel in seeing people that I have been able to work closely with, develop into leaders and have impact or influence on our business and organization is just so rewarding.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

IQOS has become a turning point in our business and in the tobacco industry. It is inspiring that this product is scientifically proven and is a better option for smokers and those around them. Our goal is to cease selling cigarettes and to replace them with reduced risk products — a remarkable objective. I don’t know too many executives that have the opportunity to turn their business upside down.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

To choose carefully when to “swim against the current.” Things happen for a reason and while this does not mean you should not try to change things for the better — in fact, it’s positive that you do. Pick your battles and take time out to see the bigger picture.

Last updated: Sep 14, 2018