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WBA’s Kathleen Wilson Thompson to retire

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice president and global chief human resources officer Kathleen Wilson-Thompson will retire from her post in January, the company said Monday. Pamela Puryear will succeed her.

“Never has Kathleen’s contribution to the company been stronger than in 2020, whether leading Human Resources actions during the pandemic or being a strong voice for all during the racial equity movement,” said WBA co-chief operating officer Ornella Barra. “Kathleen has been a trusted leader, advocate for change, driver of business transformation, and more to so many of us over the years, and she will be missed greatly at WBA. Kathleen left us stronger than where she found us.”

Kathleen Wilson-Thompson

Kathleen Wilson-Thompson

Wilson-Thompson was included on The HR Digest’s Most Influential HR Leaders Powerlist, crediting her with harnessing the power of digital transformation to empower WBA’s people, many of whom are essential workers, during COVID-19. Prior being named to her current role, Wilson-Thompson was senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Walgreens. She joined Walgreens in 2010 after more than four years as senior vice president, global human resources officer at Kellogg Co. She serves on the boards of Tesla and a number of not-for-profit community organizations, and is a prior board member of Ashland Global Holdings Inc.

Pamela Puryear has been serving as senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Zimmer Biomet, a global leader in musculoskeletal healthcare, since January 2019. Before that she spent three years with Pfizer, where she served as senior vice president and chief talent officer. In that role she was responsible for leadership development, talent management, learning and development, employee engagement, organizational culture, diversity and inclusion and workforce analytics. She joined Pfizer from Hospira Inc., where she spent six years as vice president, organization development and chief talent officer. Before joining Hospira, Puryear was an independent external organizational development consultant for 12 years.

Pam Puryear

Pam Puryear

Puryear spent the first 10 years of her career in financial services in the real estate investment advisor industry. She holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in organizational behavior from Yale University.

“Pamela is a true leader of transformation, and we are delighted she is joining us,” Barra said. “Our vision in Human Resources is that every day we inspire and support all of our colleagues across the globe, to care for our customers, patients and communities. Pamela’s experience operating as a human resources leader in the healthcare industry will help to further strengthen the core of our business as we accelerate our digital future, with a special focus in Human Resources on culture, talent and employee experience.”

Puryear has received a number of honors including being named one of the Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America and one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Black Enterprise magazine.

“I am tremendously excited to join Walgreens Boots Alliance at a time when the company’s purpose to help people across the world lead healthier and happier lives has never felt stronger or more relevant,” Puryear said. “I look forward to working with our colleagues around the globe to make a positive impact for employees as well as the customers and patients we serve.”



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