Latest moves to build out retail, marketing and customer experience offerings.
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens announced Wednesday the following key executive positions to its leadership team: Linh Peters, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Luke Rauch, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer and Bala Visaltha, senior vice president and chief product officer. These additions will begin their new roles in May.
“I am thrilled to have Linh, Luke and Bala join the Walgreens retail products and customer leadership team, and I’m confident that their collective decades of retail expertise and deep involvement with launching new customer experiences will accelerate growth in our company,” said Tracey Brown, president of retail products and chief customer officer, Walgreens. “As strong innovators in their own right, each have an excellent track record when it comes to successfully identifying white spaces across different customer touchpoints and tracking evolving consumer trends, which will be instrumental as we transform our business.”
As the chief marketing officer, Peters will oversee the vision, strategic direction and performance of Walgreens marketing activities, including marketing collaboration, brand design, brand positioning and marketing plan execution.
Linh is a modern marketing leader whose foundation in loyalty provides her both a strong data orientation and an ability to build brands based on a deep understanding of consumer needs.
Most recently, Peters was global chief marketing officer at Calvin Klein. She brings over 20 years of experience with some of the world’s biggest consumer brands such as Starbucks, Target and Ulta Beauty, with deep experience in building effective consumer engagement and loyalty on a global scale.
“Walgreens has an incredible opportunity to help millions of customers and patients transform their lives,” said Peters. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked collaboratively and cross-functionally to bring a laser focus on the customer experience to everything we do and I look forward to building upon the great momentum we’ve created over the past several years.”
Luke Rauch will assume the chief merchandising officer role to be responsible for the vision, leadership, strategic direction and performance of all Walgreens merchandising activities.
Throughout his career, Rauch has gained a reputation as a highly strategic leader who consistently delivers results with the customer in mind.
Rauch most recently served as chief of staff to Roz Brewer, CEO, vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance. Prior to that, he was group vice president, owned brands and customer experience for Walgreens. In this role, Rauch led the owned brands strategy in the US and was instrumental in defining Walgreens retail customer experience. Rauch’s previous Walgreens leadership roles include vice president, commercial strategy and senior director, insights. Prior to joining Walgreens, Rauch worked for Deloitte Consulting in its strategy practice.
“I am honored to rejoin the Walgreens merchandising organization and look forward to working with the team as we continue to fulfill our purpose of more joyful lives through better health,” said Rauch. “Walgreens plays such a critical role in communities, and our consumer offer will continue to be pivotal to the company’s overall transformation. I am committed to building on the team’s tremendous momentum, while looking for new ways to best serve our customers and patients.”
Bala Visalatha is joining Walgreens in a newly created role of chief product officer, where he will lead the execution of Walgreens customer product strategy and development, along with user experience. In this role, Bala will look across product lines and functions to ensure all product solutions are aligned to the customer strategy. Bala’s organization will work cross-functionally, rooted in research, analysis and an in-depth knowledge of the entire customer product lifecycle within the portfolio.
With extensive expertise in retail, product management, loyalty programs, digital and omnichannel strategies, Bala is a proven leader with a deep understanding of customers.
Most recently, Bala was vice president of eCommerce at Walmart U.S., where he was instrumental in launching the new Walmart app and website, creating a unified omnichannel experience for customers. Bala brings more than 15 years of experience in leading and building products to drive transformation with some of the world’s largest consumer brands like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and American Express.
“Walgreens plays such a pivotal role in communities nationwide and it’s exciting to join at a time in which the business is rapidly evolving and transforming,” Visalatha said. “I look forward to leveraging data and technology to evolve and redefine the customer experience at Walgreens alongside the highly talented team across the country.”