Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has announced the appointment of Rosalind (Roz) Brewer as the company’s CEO, effective on March 15, 2021. The search for a new CEO began in July 2020. Brewer succeeds Stefano Pessina, who will transition to the role of executive chairman of the board of WBA.
Pessina has served as the CEO of the combined company for six years following the merger between Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014.
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Pessina will replace James (Jim) Skinner as executive chairman of WBA in March 2021. Skinner will remain on the WBA board as a non-executive director to facilitate a smooth leadership transition.
Brewer most recently served as chief operating officer, group president and member of the board of directors of Starbucks Corporation, where she helped the company accelerate its growth strategy, expand its global reach and drive value for all of Starbucks’ diverse stakeholders.
Prior to joining Starbucks, Brewer served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, the members-only warehouse channel of Walmart Inc.
Pessina said, “The board conducted an extensive search to identify an exceptional leader who will build on WBA’s track-record of success and take advantage of the many growth opportunities in many markets across the company. We are excited to have found that person in Roz. She is a distinguished and experienced executive who has led organizations globally through periods of changing consumer behavior by applying innovation that elevates customer experiences–ultimately driving significant and sustainable growth and value creation. Her relentless focus on the customer, talent development, operational rigor and strong expertise in digital and technological transformation are exactly what WBA needs as the company enters its next chapter. I look forward to working with Roz, and to continuing to partner with Jim and the entire Board and management team to take our company forward.”
Brewer said, “WBA is a world-class and trusted organization whose purpose I deeply admire. The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and I am excited to work alongside the entire WBA team as we deliver further innovation and positively impact the lives of millions of people around the world every day. This is especially true today as the company plays a crucial role in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. I step into this role with great optimism for the future of WBA, a shared responsibility to serve our customers, patients and communities, and a commitment to drive long-term sustainable value for shareholders.”
Skinner said, “Our global position as an accessible health care provider in the communities we serve has never been so critical, and I am very confident in the company’s prospects for growth under Roz’s leadership. It has been an enormous privilege for me to chair the Board through such an extraordinary time for our company, and to work alongside Stefano, with his keen eye for anticipating shifts in the rapidly evolving health care market and staying one step ahead of consumers’ needs. He was a driving force behind the merger of Walgreens and Alliance Boots, creating the first global pharmacy-led, health and well-being enterprise and has positioned WBA extremely well for continued growth and expansion. He is transitioning leadership into very capable hands. I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to serve as a Board member going forward to what I believe will be a period of continued growth and prosperity for our company.”