Compiled By Jill Jusko Philip Morris Cos. Inc. -- the parent company to Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International, Miller Brewing and Kraft Foods -- says it will ask its shareholders to approve changing its names to Altria Group Inc. Its operating companies would retain their current names. "Our parent company's new name . . . should help clarify our corporate identity, making it clear to people how to refer to our tobacco companies and how to refer to the parent company," says Chairman and CEO Geoffrey C. Bible in explanation of the proposed change. Additionally, he said, the parent company has grown and evolved through acquisitions and corporate initiatives in the last few years, and the new name reflects that growth. "We are not the same family of companies we were just a few years ago," Bible says. Over the last two years Philip Morris Cos. Inc. has been involved in an effort to improve the image of the family of companies in the eyes of consumers. According to Bible, the name "Altria" is derived from the Latin word "altus" and refers to the corporation's desire to "reach higher" in terms of financial strength, operational excellence and corporate responsibility. Shareholders will be asked to approve the proposed new name at the annual shareholders' meeting in April 2002.