Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. is nominating the finance chief of the largest Internet search engine in China for a seat on its board of directors
Jennifer Li, 42, will be one of only a handful of Chinese-born executives ever to be appointed to the board of a Standard & Poor's 500 index company. The Financial Times reported she would be the first Chinese-born woman to hold such a seat.
Li has served as chief financial officer of Baidu Inc. since March 2008 after spending several years in various finance positions at General Motors companies in China, Singapore, the U.S. and Canada.
Li's strong financial expertise, experience in high-tech business and Asian background will help strengthen the board's depth and global perspective, the company said in its proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Shareholders will vote on the nomination at the company's annual meeting on May 12 in New York.
Philip Morris International, which has offices in Lausanne, Switzerland, and New York, is the world's second-largest cigarette seller after China's state-owned company. It was spun off in 2008 from Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Inc., owner of Philip Morris USA.