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McKesson Canada president leaves for new job

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Champagne joins sales specialist Optimé International as CEO

TORONTO — McKesson Canada president Alain Champagne is leaving the company to join sales training and development firm Optimé International as a partner and chief executive officer.

Alain Champagne_Optime

Alain Champagne

Plans call for Champagne to take over as Optimé CEO effective Sept. 1. He will operate out of the company’s Montreal and Toronto offices.

Champagne has served as McKesson Canada’s president since July 2014, when he took the reins upon the appointment of Nick Loporcaro as president of McKesson Specialty Health. Before his promotion to president, Champagne had served as senior vice president of pharmaceutical distribution and operations since joining McKesson Canada in 2010.

“I have been so impressed with the Optimé team and their ability to drive results with my sales teams over the past 18 years that I decided to join the company,” Champagne said in a statement. “I’m thrilled with the unique opportunity to bring my expertise to the company and the potential of contributing to our clients’ revenue acceleration.”

Along with his executive team, Champagne oversaw McKesson’s operations in Canada, including the pharmaceutical distribution, retail banner management and technology solutions divisions. During his tenure as president, the company acquired Canadian drug chain Rexall Health and its 470 Rexall/Rexall Pharma Plus stores.

Prior to joining McKesson Canada, Champagne held various executive roles at PepsiCo/Frito Lay Canada, most recently as vice president of national sales, and at Procter & Gamble Co.

Optimé has helped Fortune 500 companies improve their sales performance and business results, and its roster of clients has included McKesson, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, TD Bank, PepsiCo, Finning/CAT and Great-West Life.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Alain to the Optimé team. He is a proven leader with an outstanding track record of achieving breakthrough results in highly competitive business environments within Fortune 100 companies,” stated Optimé chairman and co-founder Hugues Gibeault. “Alain has been a valued client, a true champion for sales capability, and is one of the very best customer-driven business leaders I have had the opportunity to interact with.”

McKesson Canada couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The company hasn’t announced a successor to Champagne as president, but its website indicates that three senior executives have added the title of interim president: Todd Baldanzi, senior vice president and chief financial officer; Paula Keays, senior vice president of pharmaceutical distribution and operations; and Dimitris Polygenis, senior vice president of purchasing and manufacturer solutions. Keays had been promoted to her current position in pharmaceutical distribution and operations when Champagne was appointed as McKesson Canada’s president.

McKesson Canada has a national network of more than 1,700 independent pharmacies operating under the banners Guardian, I.D.A., Proxim, Medicine Shoppe Canada and Remedy’sRx.


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