Mark Walchirk to join distributor Patterson Companies as CEO
ST. PAUL, Minn. — McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical president Mark Walchirk is leaving the company to become president and chief executive officer of Patterson Companies Inc., a distributor serving the dental and animal health markets.
Patterson said Tuesday that Walchirk is slated to start at the company on Nov. 20. He also will become a member of the board, which will expand to nine directors. Walchirk will take over from James Wiltz, who has served as interim president and CEO of Patterson since June 1, when Scott Anderson stepped down from the role.
At McKesson, Walchirk led the San Francisco-based company’s largest operating unit, serving as president of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical since late September 2012. In that role, he oversaw the McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical business, including sales, distribution and customer service operations, and led more than 7,500 employees.
“Patterson is a great company with a proud history and an extraordinary opportunity to leverage its position in its markets to deliver great service and solutions to customers and value to shareholders,” the 51-year-old Walchirk said in a statement. “I am honored and excited to help lead the team during this transformative time, and I look forward to working closely with the board and management team to drive Patterson’s continued success.”
Walchirk bring almost 30 years of experience in health care services and distribution to Patterson, including 16 years at pharmaceutical distribution giant McKesson Corp.
He joined McKesson in April 2001 as senior vice president of national accounts and held a range leadership posts, including chief operating officer of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical and president of McKesson Specialty Care Solutions, before being promoted to lead the U.S. Pharmaceutical unit. Prior to joining McKesson, he spent 13 years in medical-surgical distribution and manufacturing at Baxter Healthcare, Allegiance Healthcare and Encompass Group, holding various leadership roles in sales, marketing, operations and business development.
“After a thorough search, we are pleased to have found such an exceptional leader and operator as Mark to lead Patterson going forward,” Patterson chairman John Buck stated. “Mark has a proven track record of success in helping a large and complex market leader navigate through an evolving and dynamic environment to achieve growth. Patterson will benefit from his customer-first mindset, focus on operational excellence and ability to develop unique solutions to create value for our partners, customers and shareholders. The board is confident that Mark is the right person to guide the continued evolution and growth of our business in the years ahead.”
Plans call for Wiltz, a former chief executive of Patterson, to remain on the company’s board following the transition. Anderson had continued to serve on the board until Patterson’s annual shareholders meeting in September.