• Switzerland's news in English
Tobacco giant opens new offices in Geneva
Artist's impression of JTI's new headquarters building. Photo: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

Tobacco giant opens new offices in Geneva

The Local · 27 Oct 2015, 19:32

Published: 27 Oct 2015 19:32 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Japan Tobacco International’s new glass and steel building, also next to the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization, will bring together employees previously spread across three offices.

The nine-storey structure with almost 28,000 square metres of floor space was designed by the London office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Inc., known notably for the One World Trade Center in New York and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The building features cantilevered sections that allow pedestrians to pass through a landscaped central courtyard with a reflecting pool.

“This is a very important step for our company,” American expat Thomas A. McCoy, JTI’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

McCoy said the building, which took three years to build, “confirms our commitment and loyalty to Geneva, where our company’s presence goes back nearly half a century”.

Built by Implenia, the Swiss construction company, it meets Swiss environmental (Minergie) standards and includes a geothermal heating system, the company said in a news release.

In addition to a panoramic restaurant, the building houses a fitness centre and a conference facility.

“This unique building will permanently alter Geneva’s urban landscape,” Pierre Maudet, Geneva cantonal economy and security minister, among the dignitaries attending the opening ceremony, said in a statement.

The building was budgeted to cost 150 million francs ($152 million) but the final bill is above that, according to an online report from Bilan magazine. 

Alongside the new headquarters, the company operates in partnership with the city of Geneva a 104-place daycare centre, which opened in August.

With 26,000 employees worldwide, JTI is the subsidiary of parent company Japan Tobacco (JT), based in Tokyo.

It was created in 1999 when JT bought the non-US operations of tobacco multinational RJ Reynolds for $7.8 billion.

Story continues below…

It subsequently doubled in size after the acquisition of UK-based Gallaher in 2007 for £9.4 billion.

With cigarette brands that include Winston, Camel and Benson & Hedges, it sold the equivalent of 398 billion cigarettes last year and raked in around $11.9 billion in revenue. 

Asked about JTI's relations with WHO, McCoy said: "We have good relations but many disagreements," Bilan reported.

The company's president said he was not hostile to regulation of tobacco, which he acknowledged carries health risks, adding that he wanted to cooperate with governments.

Bilan noted that, according to WHO figures, tobacco causes six million premature deaths around the world annually. 

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available