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London Drugs chief executive Powell to retire
January 17th, 2014
RICHMOND, British Columbia – London Drugs president and chief executive officer Wynne Powell plans to retire late next month.
The western Canada drug chain said Friday that the 66-year-old Powell, who has been with the London Drugs since 1982, will officially step down on Feb. 23.
Senior vice president and chief operating officer Clint Mahlman will take over the day-to-day operations at the drug chain. He will hold the title of executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Mahlman, who will celebrate his 30th anniversary with London Drugs this year, began his career with the drug chain while still in college. Over the years, he has been a store manager, district manager, director of human resources, senior vice presdient of retail operations and most recently senior vice president and chief operating officer.
"Wynne has been tireless in his quest for constant innovation, growth and a sustained strategy for success," Brandt Louie, chairman, president and CEO of London Drugs' parent company, H.Y. Louie Co. Ltd., said in a letter to employees and suppliers on Thursday.
"Though he will always defer to the people he works with as the ones deserving credit, Wynne has built this company during his tenure, from 18 stores in 1982 to a remarkable 78 stores in 2014," Louie said.
London Drugs has store locations in key markets across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The retailer is North America's eighth-largest drug chain by annual revenue.
Besides helping expand London Drugs' store base and taking the chain into the provinces of and Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Powell had a significant impact on the company's merchandising and product assortment.
"He demonstrated visionary leadership by creating explosive growth and industry-leading approaches to digital imaging," Louie noted. "His passion for technology has kept London Drugs on the forefront of products and services, making us one of the most recognized and trusted brands in western Canada."
Despite stepping down as London Drugs president and CEO, Powell will remain active in other Louie Group businesses. He will continue to serve as president and CEO of London Air Services and London Enterprises, which operates the Sonora Resort, a wilderness resort in Campbell River, British Columbia.