Walgreens realigns top executives

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has promoted two key executives and changed the reporting structure within its top management team.

The moves are meant to streamline decision making, letting the company move more quickly while improving execution throughout the drug chain.

The promotions involve Kermit Crawford, executive vice president of pharmacy services, and Mark Wagner, executive vice president of operations and community management, who each have been named president of their respective ­divisions.

Crawford started at Walgreens as a pharmacy intern in 1983. He later served as a store manager and a district manager before being named vice president of store operations in 2000. Crawford was promoted to vice president of pharmacy benefit management services at Walgreens Health Services (WHS) in 2004 and then to executive vice president of PBM services the following year.

He became a Walgreens senior vice president and WHS executive vice president in 2007, and in January of this year he was named executive vice president of pharmacy.

Wagner joined Walgreens in 1977 as a service clerk and, after managing several stores, was promoted to a district manager in 1993. He was an operational vice president and served as company treasurer before being named as a senior vice president in 2002 and an executive vice president in 2006.

Crawford and Wagner have each taken on additional management responsibilities, in the process reducing the number of executives who report directly to Walgreens president and chief executive officer Greg Wasson.

Vice president of merchandising Bryan Pugh now reports to Wagner, for example, as does vice president and chief marketing officer Kim Feil.

Meanwhile, Crawford now oversees Colin Watts, the drug store chain’s vice president of new product development and chief innovation officer.

Walgreens also has made other changes in its management reporting structure.

Vice president of corporate affairs and communications Chuck Greener reports to Dana Green, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. And Laura Merten, divisional vice president of loss prevention and profit sharing, who is also the chief compliance and privacy officer, is now supervised by senior vice president and chief human resources officer Kathleen Wilson-Thompson.

The moves are the latest iteration of an evolution in Walgreens’ leadership under Wasson, who took the CEO reins in February 2009. The retailer has taken advantage of its strong bench by promoting executive talent from within. Wasson has been with the company more than 30 years, while Crawford’s tenure is 27 years and Wagner’s is 33 years.

But Walgreens has also shown that it is willing to bring in outside talent. Pugh, who was promoted to his current position in March 2009, joined the company earlier that year from Tesco PLC’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets division. And before that, he spent six years at CP Group of Asia and eight years with Walmart’s Sam’s Club division.

Prior to joining Walgreens, Watts was vice president and general manager at Campbell Soup Co. Previously, he was president of Johnson & Johnson Co.’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare Worldwide.


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