Walgreens Boots Alliance mentioned Friday that CEO Rosalind “Roz” Brewer is stepping down after lower than three years on the helm of the worldwide pharmacy chain.
Walgreens named Ginger Graham, an impartial director on the corporate’s board, as interim chief govt. Brewer, who can also be relinquishing her seat on the board, will proceed to advise the retailer whereas it searches for a everlasting CEO, the corporate mentioned.
Brewer assumed the highest submit at Walgreens in March of 2021. She beforehand served as chief working officer and group president at Starbucks in addition to president and CEO of Walmart-owned Sam’s Membership, amongst different company positions.
In saying her exit, Walgreens credited Brewer with main its efforts to shortly provide mass vaccinations through the pandemic.
“She constructed and led a staff to face up the know-how for a vaccine scheduling system, created a secure working mannequin for retailer labor, and developed a plan to drive vaccine fairness,” mentioned the corporate, which additionally highlighted Walgreens’ strategic shift to focus extra on providing well being care companies below Brewer’s watch.
Steered firm via opioid lawsuits
Brewer’s tenure as CEO additionally noticed Walgreens resolve litigation relating to its position, together with different main pharmacy chains, within the opioid disaster. In 2022, Walgreens agreed to pay practically $5 billion over 15 years as a part of a multi-state settlement, whereas extra not too long ago the corporate in Could agreed to payto settle a case over its distribution of the highly effective medicine.
Opioids have been linked to the deaths of a whole bunch of 1000’s of individuals world wide.
Brewer is exiting as Walgreens veers away from promoting merchandise to focus extra on well being care, mentioned Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, noting that the retail enterprise “is just not an space that Walgreens needs to pursue” to drive progress.
“Well being care is a profitable sector, and Walgreens isn’t mistaken to see it as a significant a part of its future playbook,” he mentioned. “Nevertheless, the brand new everlasting CEO might want to keep in mind that it’s attainable to spend money on each well being care and retail. It shouldn’t be an both/or determination.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.