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WBA’s Kathleen Wilson-Thompson to retire, Pamela Puryear to fill role

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) announced on Monday that executive vice president and global chief human resources officer Kathleen Wilson-Thompson will retire next month and Pamela Puryear will be her successor.

Kathleen Wilson-Thompson

“Never has Kathleen’s contribution to the company been stronger than in 2020, whether leading Human Resources actions during the pandemic or being a strong voice for all during the racial equity movement,” said WBA co-chief operating officer Ornella Barra. “Kathleen has been a trusted leader, advocate for change, driver of business transformation, and more to so many of us over the years, and she will be missed greatly at WBA. Kathleen left us stronger than where she found us.”

Wilson-Thompson will retire from the company in January, as a respected leader in the industry as well as among global chief human resources officers (CHROs). This November, The HR Digest included Wilson-Thompson on the Most Influential HR Leaders Powerlist and credited her for harnessing the power of digital transformation to empower WBA’s people, many of whom are essential workers, during COVID-19.

“Pamela is a true leader of transformation, and we are delighted she is joining us. Our vision in Human Resources is that every day we inspire and support all of our colleagues across the globe, to care for our customers, patients and communities,” continued Barra. “Pamela’s experience operating as a human resources leader in the healthcare industry will help to further strengthen the core of our business as we accelerate our digital future, with a special focus in Human Resources on culture, talent and employee experience.”

Pam Puryear

A nationally recognized leader in human resources and organization development, Pamela has a strong track record of leading culture transformation, developing leaders and building teams to drive strategic business outcomes. Puryear joins WBA from Zimmer Biomet, a global leader in musculoskeletal healthcare, where she has served as senior vice president and chief human resources officer and a member of the president and CEO’s leadership team. Puryear, who will be relocating to the Chicago area, will start Jan. 18.

“I am tremendously excited to join Walgreens Boots Alliance at a time when the company’s purpose to help people across the world lead healthier and happier lives has never felt stronger or more relevant,” said Puryear. “I look forward to working with our colleagues around the globe to make a positive impact for employees as well as the customers and patients we serve.”

Prior to her role at Zimmer Biomet, Puryear spent three years with Pfizer, where she served as senior vice president and chief talent officer, and six years as vice president, organization development and chief talent officer at Hospira. Puryear has received a number of honors including being named one of the Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America and one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Black Enterprise magazine.


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