DEERFIELD, Ill., January 26, 2015 - Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) today announced the appointment of George Fairweather, formerly group finance director of Alliance Boots, as executive vice president and global chief financial officer, effective 20 February 2015.
Fairweather will succeed Timothy McLevish, who served as Walgreens chief financial officer since August 2014, where he advanced the company's completion of its merger with Alliance Boots to form Walgreens Boots Alliance and served as the initial global chief financial officer of the combined companies.
Importantly, McLevish will continue his service to Walgreens Boots Alliance as senior advisor to the chief executive officer for finance, integration and business development. In this role, McLevish will work closely with acting chief executive officer Stefano Pessina and Fairweather to assist in the ongoing integration of the financial teams, the company's cost-reduction program and business development for the future enterprise.
Fairweather was group finance director of Alliance Boots since its formation in July 2006. He joined Alliance UniChem in the same position in 2002 and later led the financial integration during the merger with Boots Group. Previously Fairweather was group finance director of Elementis (joining when it was Harrisons and Crosfield) and before that, group finance director of Dawson International, both UK-based international groups with a significant U.S. presence. Earlier in his career, Fairweather worked for Dixons Group in the UK and U.S., Procter & Gamble and KPMG Thomson McLintock. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
"We welcome George to lead the Walgreens Boots Alliance global finance group as we move forward following our successful merger to create the first international pharmacy-led health, wellbeing and beauty retail enterprise," said Jim Skinner, Walgreens Boots Alliance executive chairman. "George's global experience and expertise, and service with Alliance Boots, will ensure an effective transition and the strong financial leadership the future combined enterprise will need going forward.
"As we thank Tim for his exceptional leadership, performance and results in driving the merger to completion and leading the financial team during this pivotal period for the company, we also appreciate that he will continue his service to Walgreens Boots Alliance in a senior advisory role. Tim's exceptional experience in U.S. as well as global financial operations will be critical as we bring our two companies and finance teams together."
Pessina said, "My years of working and collaborating with George as he led Alliance Boots' financial organization give me every confidence that he will step into the global role for Walgreens Boots Alliance smoothly and effectively as we move ahead with our vision to establish a new global leader for our industry. I also want to personally thank Tim for his outstanding leadership and service during this important transitional time. We are very fortunate to have had two world-class CFOs at the company, and I sincerely appreciate the indispensable role Tim played to enable us to accelerate the close of the merger transaction before the end of 2014.
"Going forward, we are also very grateful that Tim will continue with the company as a senior advisor. Tim's broad and deep experience as a chief financial officer for American companies with global reach will provide a critically important bridge as George and the team continue to combine and integrate our financial operations."
McLevish said, "Over the last several months, I have worked extensively with George, and have the utmost respect for him as a leader and confidence in his global experience in retail pharmacy and wholesale. This will provide a strong foundation to allow Walgreens Boots Alliance to realize the great vision of this combined enterprise.
"With another global CFO on our team, I am confident in handing the reins over to George given his expertise and distinctive caliber as a world-class financial leader. I also appreciate the opportunity to have served as Walgreens CFO during its transition to a global company over the past six months – and especially the diligent work of the Walgreens financial group through this historic merger of iconic companies. I look forward to continuing to work with Stefano and the team in an advisory capacity to help merge the financial function into a single, integrated, international operation, as well as advance the company's cost reduction program and assist with future business development."