Walgreens CEO will retire after Alliance Boots merger

Walgreens announced that CEO and President Greg Wasson will retire after the completion of the Alliance Boots merger's second phase, scheduled to conclude with a shareholder vote on Dec. 29.

After Wasson's retirement, Walgreens Chairman James Skinner will take over as Walgreens Boots Alliance's executive chairman while Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots and member of the Walgreens board, will serve as acting CEO until the board selects a successor. William Foote will also serve as the lead independent director of the Walgreens Boots Alliance board of directors.

In a company statement, Wasson said that he has achieved the goals he set when he took the role of CEO six years ago, including taking the drug store chain global, and the time has come for fresh blood.

"With the creation of Walgreens Boots Alliance, it is now time for new leadership to move that vision forward building on the global platform we have created, executing on the company's many opportunities and creating long-term sustainable value for our customers and shareholders," he said. "I could not be more proud of our company or more grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with so many incredible people since joining Walgreens over 35 years ago, and I am committed to doing my best to achieve the smoothest possible leadership transition."

Wasson's tenure at Walgreens goes back to 1980, when he started as a pharmacy intern while enrolled at Purdue University's School of Pharmacy. Over time, he moved from managing pharmacies in Houston to joining the corporate team as regional VP of store operations. He continued to take various executive roles in the Walgreens Health Initiatives division, eventually getting promoted to COO and then CEO. In that role, Wasson led the company through the recession, focusing on the transformation of the front end experience, the role of community pharmacies in health care and establishing a global platform, ultimately spearheading the acquisition of Duane Read in 2010 and the Alliance Boots partnership in 2012. Press release

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