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Stefano Pessina to step down as CEO of WBA

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)  announced on Monday  plans for a transition of leadership, to prepare for the appointment of a new chief executive officer  as Stefano Pessina has decided to step down from that role. The board of directors will begin a search for a new CEO, and at the time of this appointment, Pessina will assume the role of executive chairman and James (Jim) Skinner will step down as executive chairman but remain on the board to facilitate a smooth leadership transition.

Stefano Pessina

Stefano Pessina

After the merger, and under the leadership of Pessina and Skinner, WBA successfully completed several strategic partnerships and acquisitions, and was modernized, prepared for the future and reorganized for more efficiencies and effectiveness. In this time, WBA has delivered extensive benefits to customers, patients, local communities and its shareholders, including the execution on its four key strategic priorities: creating neighborhood health destinations, driving cost transformation, accelerating digitalization and restructuring its retail offering.

WBA is now a global leader in retail and wholesale pharmacy, touching millions of lives every day by dispensing and distributing medicines, as well as with other products and services through its convenient retail locations and digital platforms. Including equity method investments, WBA has a presence in more than 25 countries, employs more than 440,000 people, has more than 18,750 stores and offers an extensive portfolio of highly-regarded product brands.

WBA also has one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks, with more than 400 distribution centers supplying more than 115,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals each year. As the result of the efficiencies within this system, the costs of vital medicines and other products have been significantly reduced for customers and patients.

“It has been an enormous privilege to work with Stefano, the board of directors and all our employees during my time as executive chairman. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity, as well as the chance to continue to serve as a board member in the future. Together, we have built our company into a global leader in retail and wholesale pharmacy,” said Skinner. “As the healthcare industry and consumer behavior continue to advance quickly, we look forward to a new CEO joining the team with the deep expertise and skillset to drive future success as we move into a new chapter of our company’s very long and proud history.”

“I want to thank our team members around the world for their extensive achievements in the last five years, as we have fulfilled our purpose to help people lead healthier and happier lives,” said Pessina. “I look forward to continuing to serve the company as executive chairman, and to helping to ensure the success of the new chief executive officer in every way possible. I am also very glad that Jim and I will continue to work together on the board, and on behalf of the entire company, we greatly appreciate all his contributions during his time as executive chairman.”


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