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Cooper and Brown take the helm at Walgreens

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance last month announced a new leadership structure for its U.S. business following WBA’s full acquisition of Shields Health Solutions and the planned exit of Walgreens president John Standley, who is leaving the company to pursue other ­opportunities.

The U.S. business has been split into two segments: Retail and Pharmacy. The retail segment is being led by Tracey Brown, president of Walgreens Retail Products and chief customer officer at Walgreens. The pharmacy segment is being led by Lee Cooper, who previously served as chief executive officer of Shields, and has been named executive vice president of Walgreens Pharmacy. The two leaders both report directly to Roz Brewer, chief executive officer of WBA, and serve on the Executive Leadership Team. Standley will remain at the company until November 1 to ensure a smooth transition.

“Lee has demonstrated proven success in driving business growth, creating omnichannel customer experiences and building high-performance cultures, and will partner very closely with Tracey, who has made major strides for our company since joining just over a year ago. We are confident that we have the right leadership in place to advance our strategic priorities and be the leading partner in reimagining health care,” Brewer says. “We are also very grateful to John Standley for his many contributions, and want to thank him for everything he has done for our company and wish him the very best.”

WBA describes Cooper as a distinguished leader in the health care industry. He formerly served as the president and CEO of GE Healthcare, U.S. and Canada, where he led an $8 billion commercial and service organization through a period of steady growth. In that role, he partnered with care providers, health care systems and governments to improve health care quality, access and affordability. Cooper subsequently joined Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe as an operating partner focused on health care investments in 2019, before assuming his role as CEO of Shields in 2020.

“In my new role leading Walgreens Pharmacy, I look forward to leveraging my deep health care experience to deliver transformative experiences for Walgreens patients, partners and team members,” says Cooper.

Shields is a leader in the large, fast-growing market of specialty pharmacy, and is the premier health system-owned specialty pharmacy integrator in the United States.

Shields will continue as a distinct business and brand within Walgreens, led by cofounder and president John Lucey, who stepped into the post of CEO after Cooper took his new role at WBA.

“This transaction validates our tremendous impact to health systems and specialty patients, as well as the consistent growth and innovation the Shields team has achieved over the last decade,” says Cooper. “As an important business within Walgreens, and under John Lucey’s leadership, Shields will be well positioned to continue to scale its unique integrated care model for the benefit of all stakeholders.”


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