7 August 2020 - Deborah Wilkes
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has announced that Stefano Pessina is stepping down as chief executive officer.
Once WBA’s board of directors has appointed a replacement, Pessina will take up the position of executive chairman. The current executive chairman, Jim Skinner, will remain on the board of directors.
Skinner pointed out that the "healthcare industry and consumer behaviour continue to advance quickly". He said the new chief executive officer would have the "deep expertise and skillset to drive future success".
Long history with the company
Pessina’s history with WBA dates back to 1977 when he established the Franco-Italian pharmaceutical wholesaling group Alliance Santé
He has been WBA’s chief executive officer since the company was formed in December 2014 from the merger of Walgreens with Alliance Boots. He was interim chief executive officer from January 2015 and became chief executive officer in July 2015.
Prior to that, Pessina was executive chairman of Alliance Boots from July 2007 to December 2014. He had previously been executive deputy chairman.
Before Alliance Boots was formed from the merger of Alliance UniChem and Boots, Pessina was executive deputy chairman of Alliance UniChem. He had previously served as chief executive officer.
He was appointed to the board of directors of Alliance UniChem in 1997 when UniChem merged with Alliance Santé.
Recent financial performance
WBA reported worldwide sales of USD34.6 billion in the three months ended 31 May 2020, which was the third quarter of the US-based company's financial year.
This represented a rise of just 0.1% as reported compared to the same period a year earlier. At constant currencies, sales were up by 1.2% (click here to read the News story).
WBA has a presence in more than 25 countries, employs more than 440,000 people and has more than 18,750 stores.