Pennell named SME president

Source: NASCAR Online Pennell named SME president WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Jan. 21, 1998) G. Clifton "Cliff" Pennell has been named president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s Sports Marketing Enterprises, Andy Schindler, RJR president and chief...

Source: NASCAR Online

Pennell named SME president

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Jan. 21, 1998)

G. Clifton "Cliff" Pennell has been named president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s Sports Marketing Enterprises, Andy Schindler, RJR president and chief executive officer, has announced.

Pennell, 40, succeeds T. Wayne Robertson, who died Jan. 14 in a boating accident in Louisiana. Robertson, who reported to Pennell at the time of his death, had served as head of RJR's sports marketing department since 1985.

"As we said last week, Wayne's loss will be felt at Reynolds Tobacco long into the future," Schindler said. "But as we look ahead, we're fortunate to have a person with Cliff's capabilities to move into the president's position at SME. Cliff and Wayne were extremely close, and Cliff is very familiar with the direction of our company and the sports marketing department."

Said Pennell: "This is not about replacing T. Wayne Robertson. That would be an impossible thing to do. This is about recognizing the importance of event marketing and sponsorships to RJR and moving forward proactively and with a high level of commitment.

"I am excited about becoming more involved with Sports Marketing Enterprises, one of the premier event marketing companies around. I am also looking forward to increasing my interaction and involvement with our motorsports sponsorships well as other event associations."

Pennell, a Winston-Salem native, came to RJR in 1979 as a sales representative. He moved into brand marketing in 1985 and was named senior vice president in 1995. Robertson began reporting to Pennell in early 1997. Pennell will retain his accountability for the company's business strategy and planning department.

Pennell has a bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University. He and his wife, Sarah, have two sons, Timothy, 11, and Clayton, 8.

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Series NASCAR Cup