Retail veteran Beth Newlands Campbell to lead Canadian drug chain
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Sobeys Inc. executive Beth Newlands Campbell is joining McKesson Canada as president of Rexall Drugstore.
McKesson Canada said Friday that Newlands Campbell, most recently president of the Atlantic/Ontario business unit at Sobeys, is slated to start in her new post at Rexall on Aug. 8.
As Rexall’s president, Newlands Campbell will lead the Canadian drug chain’s long-term business strategies to enhance corporate growth and boost the organizations’ market position. She reports to Domenic Pilla, chief executive officer of McKesson Canada.
“I am honored and excited to become the newest member of the Rexall team,” Newlands Campbell said in a statement. “Rexall is a trusted and reliable brand ,with deep roots in the communities we serve. I’m looking forward to building on our existing strengths and charting a course that not only sets us apart from the competition, but also makes it even easier for patients and consumers to choose Rexall.”
Before her nearly year-and-a-half tenure as Sobeys’ Atlantic/Ontario president, Newlands Campbell served in a variety of leadership roles in a 27-year career at Delhaize America, most recently as president of Food Lion. Prior to that, she served as president, executive vice president, senior vice present and in other roles over 25 years at Hannaford Supermarkets.
“The retail pharmacy industry faces many challenges. Competitive dynamics, regulatory pressure and meeting the expectations of consumers and patients are amongst the biggest. Rexall is poised to take advantage of these challenges and lead the transformation of the sector to significantly improve health outcomes and help lower the cost of providing care in Canada,” Pilla stated. “Beth is a dynamic leader with a long and proven track record of delivering business results in Canada and the United States. She brings with her a passion for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment that will engage our employees to grow our business and to serve even more customers and patients.”
McKesson Canada closed its $2.1 billion acquisition of Rexall Health from Katz Group in late 2016 after announcing the deal that March. At the time, Rexall Health operated about 470 Rexall/Rexall Pharma Plus pharmacies in six provinces and one territory. Pilla was tabbed as McKesson Canada’s CEO upon the announcement of the acquisition’s closing.
This past June, McKesson agreed to sell 27 Rexall stores to Toronto-based independent pharmacy network Rx Drug Mart Inc. under a consent agreement with the Competition Bureau of Canada for approval of the Rexall Health acquisition. Plans call for ownership of the stores — located in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories — to be transferred to Rx Drug Mart on a rolling basis through Aug. 31.
With the acquisition by McKesson, Rexall became part of McKesson Canada. Including the 440-plus pharmacies from Rexall, McKesson Canada has approximately 2,100 pharmacy locations across Canada, making it the country-s largest drug store operator, followed by Shoppers Drug Mart, part of Loblaw Cos., with 1,326 stores.
McKesson Canada is slated to add another 330 pharmacies under its deal to acquire Quebec drug chain Uniprix, announced in April. Unprix shareholders approved the acquisition in mid-May. At presstime, the agreement was awaiting approval from regulators, including the Competition Bureau of Canada and the Superior Court of Quebec, and satisfaction of other closing conditions.