The buzzword du jour in boardrooms globally is "innovation," with industries from banking to pharmaceuticals forced to contend with tech-driven disruption.
Perhaps the most unlikely industry to face this grand wave of disruption is Big Tobacco — a field where the menthol once passed as innovative.
"We are becoming a tech company," British American Tobacco (BAT)'s Dr. David O’Reilly told Business Insider during a recent tour of the company's research and development (R&D) headquarters in Southampton, England.
Dr. O'Reilly is the group scientific and R&D director of BAT, the global cigarette giant known for brands like Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Benson & Hedges, Dunhill, and Rothmans. The company sold over £14 billion-worth of tobacco products around the world last year.