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Former C.A.O. Employees Form New Cigar Company

According to an article on Cigar Aficionado’s website, several of C.A.O.’s former employees have started their own cigar venture, following the company’s move from Tennessee to Virginia. The company, which has been dubbed Crowned Heads LLC, is headed by Jon Huber, former director of lifestyle marketing for C.A.O., as well as Mike Conder, former senior VP of marketing, Michael Trebing, former creative media manager, and Nancy Heathman, the company’s former graphic designer.

Huber recently did an epic three-part interview with Toasted Foot, in which he discussed his reasons for leaving C.A.O., as well as his plans for Crowned Heads LLC. The new company, according to Huber, is going to be “very different from what we did at C.A.O.,” adding that they would focus on boutique brands and avoid titles, offices, and cubicles, the typical trimmings of the corporate atmosphere.

In the interview, Huber mentioned that his motivations for leaving C.A.O. were beyond avoiding the corporate grind. “I wanted to demonstrate to my son was that life isn’t all about money,” he explained. “It’s about being loyal and having the integrity to stay true to your path and those that brought you to the dance.”

Huber added that while it was a possibility that the company would have a cigar ready for the IPCPR in July, it’s not entirely likely. He did, however, mention that he would try to bring cigar smokers behind the scenes so they could see the company’s progress as they create new brands.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what Crowned Heads LLC can do, and not just because the cigars are probably going to be awesome. I can only assume that the marketing/design team that Huber has assembled had a hand in some of C.A.O.’s more extravagant presentations, like the Lx2, Criollo, and America, so I’m looking forward to what they churn out in the future.