Walgreens shuffles senior management

A series of changes among senior management at Walgreen Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) sets the company up for future growth and indicates a succession plan is being put into place to fill the CEO position of the global entity. 

       Alex Gourlay

Alex Gourlay and Ornella Barra will now serve as co-chief operating officers. 

Gourlay was exec-VP of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens, and Barra has been exec-VP of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president and CEO of global wholesale and international retail.

In his new role, Gourlay will oversee Walgreens and Boots. Barra will supervise global brands, human resources and other business services, in addition to her current responsibilities.

      Ornella Barra

Simon Roberts, exec-VP of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Boots, has resigned to "pursue new opportunities," according to a company statement. He will leave the company in July. Elizabeth Fagan, currently senior VP and managing director of international retail, has been appointed as senior VP and managing director of Boots.  

"As we continue to work together to find simpler and more effective ways to manage our company, I believe this is the right structure at the right time," said Jim Skinner, Walgreens Boots Alliance exec chairman. "The changes announced today will allow us to further enhance operating performance, while developing our company for the longer term. I want to congratulate Ornella and Alex on their extended responsibilities. We are very fortunate to have these two world-class corporate executives working together in a senior management team that is very well positioned to guide our businesses across the world through the changing landscape of healthcare."

Stefano Pessina continues to serve as both exec vice chairman and CEO. He took on the role of CEO following the merger of Walgreens and Boots last year, after the departure of Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson. His tenure here was considered temporary.

Sona Chawla was once considered a potential candidate in the long-term CEO succession planning at Walgreens. Chawla had been president of digital and chief marketing officer, but left in November to take the COO position at Kohl's.

Walgreens is still waiting to finalize its $17.2 billion acquisition of Rite Aid.

For more:
- see this Walgreens press release

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