Retail News Breaks
Walgreens realigns leadership team
August 15th, 2014
DEERFIELD, Ill. – As part of a revised operational structure shuffling some executive responsibilities, Walgreen Co. has named Richard Ashworth president of retail and pharmacy operations.
Ashworth, who assumes the new post Sept. 1, will oversee the field organization to implement a single customer plan as well as oversee the delivery of customer care across Walgreens’ community locations.
The move returns Ashworth to Walgreens from Alliance Boots, where he was director of health care, health and beauty for the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. He was appointed to that position last November after having previously served as corporate operations vice president for the western United States at Walgreens.
Meanwhile, Mark Wagner, who had been serving as president of community management and store operations, will become president of business operations and be charged with forming a customer-focused unit supporting Walgreens stores and developing strategies to reduce waste and simplify workflow.
Senior vice president and chief strategy officer Brad Fluegel has been appointed senior vice president and chief strategy and business development officer. While continuing to lead Walgreens’ strategy, Fluegel’s responsibilities will be expanded to incorporate the continued development and implementation of the company’s health care clinics, clinical office and other health care innovation strategies.
Sona Chawla will retain her role as president and digital chief marketing officer.
Alex Gourlay, executive vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens, outlined the operational changes in a company memo just days after details were made known on the next step in the Walgreens Boots Alliance.
“I will continue to lead our merchandising team while we search for a new leader for the daily living organization. All of these proposed new roles and titles are subject to approval by the board of directors," Gourlay said in a letter to Walgreens employees. “We need to stay focused on our customers and patients.
“To continue to move forward, we will need to call on the company’s strengths: pharmacy-led, customer-driven, with a commitment to each other and a focus on care and service.”
Gourlay also noted in the memo that president and chief executive officer Greg Wasson has asked him to take on additional responsibilities during the integration of Walgreens and Alliance Boots.
"With leadership roles shifting, he would like me to help ensure we stay focused on operational execution and performance, to accelerate our work to support our stores, people and customers and bring focus to our cost reduction effort," Gourlay said in the letter. "In addition, Greg wants to ensure we take the necessary time to prepare a new Walgreen Co. leadership team to be fully up and running by the time the transaction closes in the first quarter of calendar 2015."
The leadership changes followed other key developments in Walgreens' executive team in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Walgreens hired Kraft Foods Group executive Timothy McLevish as executive vice president and chief financial officer., taking over from Wade Miquelon, who left to pursue other opportunities. And in late July, the drug chain announced that Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness, plans to retire at the end of the year to pursue new opportunities.
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