New roles and responsibilities to lead into next phase of evolution
In an effort to streamline the management of the company’s global operations, which extend to some 25 countries around the world, Alex Gourlay, executive vice president of WBA and president of Walgreens, and Ornella Barra, executive vice president and president and chief executive of the company’s Global Wholesale and International Retail divisions, have been appointed to the role of co-chief operating officers.
In his new role, Gourlay will oversee Walgreens and the Boots drug chain in the United Kingdom. In addition to her current responsibilities, Barra will supervise Global Brands, Human Resources and other business services. As a result, Ken Murphy, who becomes executive vice president of WBA and chief commercial officer and president of Global Brands, and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, executive vice president and global chief human resources officer, will report to Barra.
Separately, Simon Roberts, executive vice president of WBA and president of Boots, has decided at this time to pursue new opportunities and will leave the company in July. Elizabeth Fagan, currently senior vice president and managing director of International Retail, is appointed as senior vice president and managing director of Boots.
“As we continue to work together to find simpler and more effective ways to manage our company, I believe this is the right structure at the right time,” said WBA executive chairman Jim Skinner. “The changes announced today will allow us to further enhance operating performance, while developing our company for the longer term.”
Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer of WBA, commented: “Alex and Ornella will be instrumental in driving the operations of our company in the next phase of its evolution now that our businesses have come successfully together after 18 months of integration. With the two co-chief operating officers overseeing the day-to-day activities of the company and the continued support of [executive vice president and global chief financial officer] George Fairweather, [executive vice president, global chief administrative officer and general counsel] Marco Pagni and the other leaders, I will be able to further focus on driving the growth strategy and development of Walgreens Boots Alliance.”