Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA) Announces Leadership Transition As CEO Steps Down

By Amit Chowdhry ● July 27, 2020
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA) has announced it is planning for a transition of leadership in order to prepare for the appointment of a new CEO

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA) has announced it is planning for a transition of leadership in order to prepare for the appointment of a new CEO. Stefano Pessina had informed the board of his decision to step down as CEO and become Executive Chairman of the Board after a new CEO is named. James Skinner will step down as Executive Chairman at that time and will remain on the Board.

After a merger between Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014, Pessina was appointed executive vice-chairman in January 2015. And he served as an interim chief executive officer from January 2015 and was confirmed in the role from July 2015. Skinner served as executive chairman of WBA since January 2015.

After the merger and under the leadership of Pessina and Skinner, WBA completed several strategic partnerships and acquisitions and reorganized for more efficiencies. During that time, WBA has delivered extensive benefits to customers, patients, and local communities. And the company executed on four key strategic priorities: creating neighborhood health destinations, driving cost transformation, accelerating digitalization, and restructuring its retail offering.

Now WBA is 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 locations and digital platforms. WBA has a presence in over 25 countries, employs more than 440,000 people, and has more than 18,750 stores.

WBA also has one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks with over 400 distribution centers supplying over 115,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centers, and hospitals each year. And 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. 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.”

— James Skinner

“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. 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.”

— Stefano Pessina