Head Of Boots UK Stepping Down

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced yesterday that the head of its UK operations will leave the business next month amidst a number of management role changes within the group.

Simon Roberts, Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Boots in UK, will depart next month to “pursue new opportunities” after a 13-year career at the business. He will be replaced by Elizabeth Fagan, currently Senior Vice President and MD International Retail, who has been appointed as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Boots.

Walgreens Boots Alliance also announced a number of other changes in its senior management roles as part of what it described as the “next phase of evolution” since the merger of Walgreens and Alliance Boots.

The group said that in order to provide greater focus and collaboration and further streamline the management of its global operations, Alex Gourlay, Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Walgreens, and Ornella Barra, Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President and Chief Executive of Global Wholesale and International Retail, have been appointed to the role of Co-Chief Operating Officers.

In his new role, Gourlay will oversee Walgreens and Boots, whilst Barra will take on the additional responsibilities of supervising Global Brands, Human Resources and other business services. As a result, Ken Murphy, who becomes Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance 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 her.

Commenting on the changes, Stefano Pessina, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “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 George Fairweather (Executive Vice President and Global Chief Financial Officer), Marco Pagni (Executive Vice President, Global Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel) and the other leaders, I will be able to further focus on driving the growth strategy and development of Walgreens Boots Alliance.”

NAM Implications:
  • As the man says: to provide greater focus and collaboration, presumably within the business and with supplier-partners
  • Scope for suppliers to think global, synergies and mutual profit opportunities…
  • …while competitor suppliers await the invitation…