ARLINGTON, Va. – Rick Keyes, president and chief executive officer of Meijer Inc., has succeeded Richard Ashworth as chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Triggered by Ashworth’s resignation as Walgreens president to become CEO at Tivity Health Inc., the transition adheres to the association’s long-established succession plan.
Keyes, who had been NACDS vice chairman, oversees all day-to-day operations at Meijer, where he began his career three decades ago as a pharmacy associate while attending college. He worked his way up through the ranks and was named president of the company, which operates more than 245 supercenters and grocery stores in six midwestern states, in October 2015.
“Rick’s readiness to step into the chairman’s role demonstrates the strength of our leadership and the great continuity that we have at NACDS,” says Steve Anderson, the association’s president and chief executive officer. “There is a strong consensus on the board about our priorities, and Rick is fully prepared to lead NACDS as the nation responds to the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19.”
NACDS has succeeded in removing many barriers to coronavirus testing at retail pharmacies, and it is helping lay the groundwork for members of the profession to administer a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
With Ashworth’s departure and the elevation of Keyes, NACDS treasurer Colleen Lindholz is expected to take on some of the responsibilities of vice chairman. Lindholz is president of health and wellness at Kroger Co.