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Geoffrey Bible

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Geoffrey C. Bible replaced R. William Murray as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Philip Morris (PM) tobacco company on Feb. 1, 1995.[1] Prior to that time he had served as President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Philip Morris subsidiary Kraft General Foods, succeeding Michael A. Miles as President of that unit. [2]

Bible was born in Australia circa 1938, served as an infantryman in the military and became an accountant. He joined PM as a finance manager in Europe in 1968, leaving PM briefly and returning to the company in 1976. He served as Managing Director of PM circa 1983, then worked his way up to President and Chief Executive Officer of PM 1995-2002. He became Chairman of the Board of PM circa 2000. He left the post on January 30, 2002.

On Tobacco-Related Illness

While testifying in Florida's lawsuit against the tobacco industry in 1997, Philip Morris CEO Geoffrey Bible admitted that cigarettes were addictive and may have killed more than 100,000 smokers. He also said under oath that when scientists prove that cigarettes caused lung cancer, he would order the company's plants to stop production immediately. Here are the key portions of Mr. Bible's testimony:

Mr. Motley [plaintiff's attorney]: Would Philip Morris agree that a single American citizen who smoked their products for 30 or more years has ever died of a disease caused in part by smoking cigarettes?

Mr. Bible: I think there's a fair chance that one would have, yes. Might have.

Mr. Motley: How about a thousand?

Mr. Bible: Might have.

Mr. Motley: A hundred thousand?

Mr. Bible: Might have.

Asked what he would do with his manufacturing plants if scientists proved "that cigarettes were a cause of lung cancer," Mr. Bible said he would "shut it down instantly." [3]

Testifying in a 1998 trial brought by the State of Minnesota against American tobacco companies to try and recoup the Medicaid costs of treating sick smokers, Mr. Bible claimed he did not know if cigarettes caused cancer, that he had decided specifically not to learn Philip Morris' history of tobacco research, that he had not ordered any studies on the health effects of smoking and would not order any.[4] He also expressed "horror" and "shame" at the release of vast numbers of internal PM documents showing PM had marketed cigarettes to children 12-18 years of age. [5]

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