A week after being promoted by Walgreen Co., Joe Magnacca left the company to become chief executive officer at RadioShack Corp.

Joe Magnacca, Walgreens, RadioShack, chief executive officer, CEO, Walgreens’ president of daily living products, Bryan Pugh, consumer electronics retailer, Duane Reade, 40 Wall Street, Look Boutique

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Magnacca exits Walgreens for RadioShack

February 18th, 2013

DEERFIELD, Ill. – A week after being promoted by Walgreen Co., Joe Magnacca left the company to become chief executive officer at RadioShack Corp.

On February 1, the 50-year-old Magnacca was promoted from senior vice president to executive vice president of Walgreens. On February 8, he resigned to take the helm at the struggling consumer electronics retailer.

Vice president of well experience deployment Bryan Pugh has assumed Magnacca’s position on an interim basis.

“We wish Joe the best in his new role, which reflects the depth and talent in our organization,” a Walgreens spokesman said. “The strength of our leadership team allows us to continue moving forward with our key strategy of creating a well experience for our customers.”

Walgreens executives say that Magnacca’s efforts were critical to ensuring that the drug chain met its customers’ daily living needs.

Analysts say that Magnacca, who is RadioShack’s fourth CEO in the past three years, is taking on a tough assignment as he tries to boost sales at the Fort Worth-based chain.

“The price transparency within the consumer electronics sector makes it much harder for the company,” Scott Tilghman, an analyst at B. Riley & Co. in Boston, told Bloomberg News. “Merchandising remains a big challenge, handicapped by the company’s small stores. I think it’s a tough go.”

A retail industry veteran of more than 20 years, Magnacca joined Duane Reade in 2008 as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer. He was later promoted to executive vice president and then president following Duane Reade’s acquisition by Walgreens in 2010. He was named Walgreens’ president of daily living products and solutions the following year.

Magnacca was a major force behind the July 2011 debut of Duane Reade’s watershed unit in a former bank building at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan. The 22,000-square-foot outlet capitalizes on the building’s high ceilings and rows of marble columns to create a rarefied ambiance for a drug store.

Duane Reade built on the space with elements never before seen in a community pharmacy, such as a sushi bar, a juice bar and a high-end coffee ­machine.

“One of our main goals with this store was to move the customer’s time in the store from a transactional experience to a shopping experience,” Ma­gnacca said at the unit’s debut.
A centerpiece of the store is an enhanced version of the upscale beauty department launched by Duane Reade under Magnacca — the Look Boutique. “This is the Look Boutique on steroids,” Magnacca remarked.

Features of the store have since been rolled out at flagship Walgreens outlets around the country.

Before joining Duane Reade, Magnacca was vice president of marketing and merchandising for Loblaw Cos. and executive vice president of merchandising and category management for Shoppers Drug Mart.