Ross R. Millhiser

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Ross R. Millhiser served on the Tobacco Institute Executive Committee, and was President of Philip Morris circa 1968. Ross Millhsier was the Philip Morris executive at the time the company developed its well-known advertising icon, the Marlboro Man. In 1954, Millhiser was brand manager of Marlboro, then a women's cigarette brand, and oversaw the redesign of its packaging and advertising campaigns to target men. The Marlboro Man advertising campaign sent the brand's popularity soaring toward No. 1 ranking.

Ross Millhiser


Ross Millhiser was Vice President of Philip Morris in 1952, Vice President and Director of Marketing at Philip Morris 1961-62, President of Philip Morris USA in 1970-72, President of Philip Morris Inc. in 1977, Chair of the Tobacco Institute Executive Committee and Vice Chairman of Philip Morris Inc. in 1979, Chairman of the Board of Philip Morris in 1980.

The above information is gleaned from correspondence found in the Philip Morris collection of documents. The assumption is made that Millhiser worked at Philip Morris the entire time between 1952-1994, based on his correspondence during those dates, however nothing has been found in the documents verifying his positions at Philip Morris during the gaps in time noted above. Millhiser was President of Philip Morris in 1968. Millheiser was with Philip Morris in 1983 in New York. Millhiser knew that profitability of Philip Morris derived from addictive nature of nicotine. He is reported to have said, "Why risk multi-billion dollar business for your rats, Victor?" (See Victor J. DeNoble).

Millhiser died Dec. 6 of heart failure in Richmond, VA at age 83.

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