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Crawford to retire as Walgreens pharmacy president
July 24th, 2014
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walgreen Co., plans to retire at the end of the year to pursue new opportunities.
Walgreens said Thursday that Crawford, who has been with the company for over three decades, will retire effective December 31 and then take on the role of senior counselor to president and chief executive officer Greg Wasson.
Crawford announced that he plans to join the University of Southern California's School of Pharmacy, where will serve as executive in residence and senior adviser to the dean. He currently is a member of the USC School of Pharmacy's board of councilors.
In addition, Crawford will serve as national chair for the American Diabetes Association's new Ad Council campaign across the country. The association recently named him volunteer of the year in his longtime role as a member of the organization's board for the Northern Illinois and Indiana region.
"After 31 years with Walgreens, starting as a pharmacy intern in my 20s, the time is right to retire from the company to broaden my horizons and seek new ways to serve," Crawford said in a statement. "I love Walgreens, cherish my years and friends here and the incredibly dedicated people across the company. To me, community pharmacy has long been an unsung hero in our health care system, helping primary caregivers to provide convenient, affordable and essential health and wellness services in neighborhoods across America. I look forward to continuing to help Greg Wasson and the team to advance the role of community pharmacy in health care as I also pursue other opportunities to provide leadership in new areas."
Crawford began his career with Walgreens as a pharmacy intern in 1983. He advanced through company ranks, holding positions from pharmacist to store and district manager to vice president of store operations. In 2004, he was named Walgreens Health Services vice president of PBM services and, in 2005, was promoted to executive vice president of PBM services and a corporate vice president for Walgreens.
Crawford was promoted to Walgreens senior vice president and then executive vice president of pharmacy services in 2007 and 2010, respectively. In this role, he pioneered the effort to transform community pharmacy from a transaction-based practice to one focused on access to affordable, quality care. In September 2010, he was promoted to president of the division. In 2011, his role was broadened to include leadership of all pharmacy, health and wellness services.
"Words cannot capture the magnitude of Kermit Crawford’s impact on Walgreens and our people, on America's retail pharmacy industry and on the health and well-being of millions of customers and patients we have been privileged to serve over the years," Wasson stated. "Kermit has been so much more than a colleague – he has been a mentor, a friend, an inspiration, a guiding light and the architect and driver of Walgreens strategy to advance the role of community pharmacy in America. Kermit has well-positioned Walgreens for the future, and I appreciate his willingness to serve as my senior counselor and continue his remarkable influence on our company and future. And I look forward to working together in our new capacity."
Chain Drug Review honored Crawford in 2009 as the Pharmacy Executive of the Year. In 2011, Chain Drug Review named Walgreens as Retailer of the Year and recognized Crawford as among Walgreens' top five executives earning the distinction. In 2012, Savoy Magazine named him one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. Also in 2012, Black Enterprise Magazine named Crawford one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.
Crawford serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and previously on its Policy Council Committee. He is also on the board of directors of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and The Commercial Club of Chicago, in addition to his service on the board of counselors at the USC School of Pharmacy.