CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- blu eCigs, the electronic cigarette company widely known for its products' superior style and quality, is pleased to welcome Jim Raporte as its new president. With over thirty years of experience across tobacco, food and business services industries, Raporte leads blu eCigs' functional operations and helps drive the company's transition from an emerging startup to a large scale second generation company. Raporte will work closely with blu eCigs founder and previous president Jason Healy. Healy has chosen to step down as president and hand over the reins of the company he created in 2009 to Raporte to focus on the company's creative marketing and product development efforts.
"I am very excited to hand over the company I built only four years ago to Jim and move to a consulting role in product development and marketing," said Jason Healy, founder of blu eCigs. "Jim has tremendous experience in a wide range of businesses that will help our sensational team ensure the continued success of the blu eCigs brand."
Since its inception in 2009, blu eCigs has consistently led the charge to introduce e-cigarettes as a new class of smoking alternative to the US market, and has done so in a pragmatic way - always keeping the customer experience as the central focus. In April 2012, blu eCigs was acquired by Lorillard, Inc. (NYSE: LO), solidifying blu eCigs as a market trailblazer and further advancing the tremendous growth opportunity represented by the e-cigarette category. Today, North Carolina-based blu eCigs holds over 40 percent of the retail market share and can be found in over 80,000 retail locations in addition to online. Most recently Lorillard reported first-quarter 2013 net sales for blu eCigs totaling $57 million.
"From the ground up, blu eCigs has successfully established itself as a leading image-based lifestyle brand in the rapidly expanding electronic cigarette category," said Jim Raporte of the announcement. "I am excited about the opportunity to continue building on the strength of the brand as we further scale operations to meet growing customer and retail demand – while partnering with Jason Healy to continue building technology innovation, creative marketing and ongoing customer-centric support that has made blu eCigs a true game-changer."About blu eCigs Electronic Cigarettes blu eCigs ® electronic cigarettes offer the look and feel of traditional cigarettes – without the tobacco smoke, ash, or smell. Because they mimic the physical act of smoking, blu eCigs offer the first realistic alternative to tobacco cigarettes, creating a vapor "puff" that evaporates within seconds. blu eCigs' lifestyle-driven design and innovative technology enhance the experience for e-cigarette consumers, and give them the chance to take back their freedom. The products have been featured at high-profile awards shows, motorsports events, major music festivals, and more, and are used by A-list actors, musicians, and other celebrities around the world. Available online and at retailers nationwide, blu eCigs come in convenient disposables or rechargeable packs for regular use, with or without nicotine, and in a variety of flavors. Based in Charlotte, NC, the company is a subsidiary of Lorillard, Inc. (NYSE: LO). For more, visit www.blucigs.com. SOURCE blu eCigs