At the close of the 2006 Formula One season, cigarette advertising was banned from the cars on the grid.
Arguably the most prominent and widely recognized brand/car package was the red, black and white Marlboro logo that encompassed the Ferrari cars.
Marlboros were marketed by the company then known as Phillip Morris. Phillip Morris became part of a conglomerate named Altria. The man who was the CEO of Altria at the time of the tobacco advertising ban, a man who had long been an exec at what was still just Phillip Morris during the 1980s and 1990s, when much of the truly exciting F1 racing occurred, was Louis C. Camilleri.
Camilleri has been given the powers of the CEO by the board of Ferrari and is likely to be given the official job within days due to the unfortunate health-related circumstances of Sergio Marchionne.
According to a story that appeared in November 2001 on Motorsport.com about the ban on tobacco advertising in Formula One, the organizing body of the sport, the FIA, released a statement that said, in part, “Today tobacco sponsorship remains an important source of revenue for a number of Formula 1 and World Rally Championship teams. The precise value of such sponsorship is hard to estimate but probably exceeds 350 million per year.”
And as Camilleri, presumably, had more than a little something to do with the splashing of the Marlboro signage on the cars of drivers including Schumacher and Massa, his association with Ferrari probably had more to do with nicotine than gasoline.
In October 2015 Ferrari’s IPO was priced at $52 per share. At the beginning of 2018 the price was at $105.15; as of July 20, $140.
Like any good billionaire, he is said to have a collection of Ferraris, though he isn’t a “car guy” in the traditional sense of coming up in the business. (One of the Altria companies had been Kraft Foods, so he may know more than most about things like Velveeta.) But Ferrari is as much about serious money as it is about V12s nowadays, maybe more.