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José Blanco Retires from La Aurora

The past year has been a maelstrom of activity for the cigar industry, particularly on the managerial side of things. According to a post by Cigar Aficionado, José Blanco, director of sales for La Aurora, retired from the company starting yesterday. This comes on the heels of Guillermo León’s purchase of La Aurora, though it’s unclear whether this had anything to do with it.

Blanco, 61, worked for Grupo León Jimenes for nearly 30 years, originally starting as a salesman. He became La Aurora’s sales director in 1999, having already been a member of their test smoking panel. Since then, he has played a part in creating some of La Aurora’s most celebrated brands, including La Aurora 1495 and La Aurora 107.

According to the Cigar Aficionado post, Blanco intends to take some time off. With the Sam Leccia lawsuit going on, it’s reasonable to suspect that Blanco may have signed a non-compete agreement, but no details have been released to support that. Regardless, I hope Blanco enjoys his well-deserved vacation, and maybe (hopefully) we’ll eventually see him return to the cigar business.