Wendy future of retail top

Walgreens executive ranks undergo more shifts

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. continues to shuffle its upper management ranks, bringing in new executives and moving others to new roles.

Most recently, divisional vice president of health law Laura Merten was named divisional vice president of compliance, loss prevention and profit sharing, replacing Chester Young, who will retire in January after 41 years with the company.

Meanwhile, Walgreens has added two executives from outside the company.

Former Kellogg Co. senior vice president of global human resources Kathleen Wilson-Thompson is the drug chain’s new senior vice president and chief human resources officer, and former Federal National Mortgage Association official Charles Greener has been named vice president of corporate affairs and communications, a new position. They will join the company on January 4.

The 49-year-old Merten, who has been with the drug chain’s legal department since 1988, will continue her role as Walgreens’ privacy officer while replacing Young as Walgreens’ chief compliance officer.

As he gets set to retire, the 64-year-old Young is closing out a career with Walgreens that began in 1968 when he was hired as a marketing analyst. After several promotions, he was named general auditor in 1988 and became a divisional vice president in 1995. He added the title of chief compliance officer in 1999.

“Chet has had an outstanding career at Walgreens,” president and chief executive officer Greg Wasson says. “In particular, he has created a closer relationship between our operations folks and loss prevention, and he’s recognized as a leader in the loss prevention industry. We wish him all the best in retirement.”

Walgreens director of health care contracting and regulatory law Bryan Schneider replaces Merten as divisional vice president of health law.

In other management news, Paul Eddy has joined Walgreens as divisional vice president of pharmacy applications.

In that role, the 46-year-old Eddy will support the needs of the company’s pharmacy business and initiatives, including its Intercom Plus pharmacy system.

Before joining Walgreens Eddy was senior vice president and director of technology strategy and governance at PNC Financial Services and was senior vice president and business information officer at National City Bank, a part of PNC. Before joining National City Bank in 2004, he spent seven years with Northern Trust Co. in Chicago as a vice president and technology division manager.

Meanwhile, executives praised the new additions to the management staff, saying they would help Walgreens going forward.

“Kathleen is an experienced leader who will ensure we have a world-class human resources function for our company,” Wasson says about the 52-year-old Wilson-Thompson. “She has the background, transformational skills and leadership ability that are consistent with the dynamic change and momentum we have established at Walgreens. She’s also known for her measured approach, unwavering integrity and strategic perspective on business issues.”

Wilson-Thompson joined Kellogg in 1992 as a senior attorney. She has held the positions of corporate counsel, human resources manager, and vice president and chief counsel for labor and employment. In 2005 she was named to her most recent position, which included responsibility for all human resources efforts throughout Kellogg’s global organization.

Earlier this year Black Enterprise magazine named Wilson-Thompson to its list of “The Top 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.”

At Fannie Mae in Washington, D.C., Greener, 55, was chief communications and marketing officer. At Walgreens, Greener will oversee all government affairs, community relations and corporate communications activities.

“Chuck is a seasoned public affairs and communications executive with a track record of success,” Wasson says.


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