Retail in brief | WBA, Zur Rose, McKesson

Retail in brief | WBA, Zur Rose, McKesson

6 May 2021 - Deborah Wilkes

Alex Gourlay is leaving Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Zur Rose has hired a chief strategy officer for Germany, and McKesson has released its annual results.

Gourlay leaving WBA

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has announced that Alex Gourlay will no longer be its co-chief operating officer with effect from 17 May 2021.

The US-based company said Gourlay would become a senior adviser to its new chief executive officer Rosalind Brewer until 31 December 2021. He will then leave the company and return to the UK.

Brewer moved to WBA from Starbucks on 15 March 2021. Prior to joining Starbucks in 2017, she was president and chief executive officer of Sam’s Club, the members-only warehouse channel of Walmart (click here to read the News story).

WBA’s second co-chief operating officer – Ornella Barra – has taken the title of chief operating officer.

Zur Rose hires chief strategy officer

Switzerland’s Zur Rose Group has recruited Ulrich Thomé as chief strategy officer of its German business including DocMorris.

The recently-established role, said Zur Rose, would advance the shift of DocMorris from a drugs retailer to a digital healthcare provider.

“Thomé will be responsible for developing and providing DocMorris’ digital healthcare ecosystem as well as high-grade and scalable platform solutions in the Germany segment,” said Zur Rose, adding he would also “focus on expanding strategic cooperation projects and partnerships with various stakeholders in the German market”.

Thomé joins Zur Rose from ARZ Haan – one of the leading service providers in billing, financial services and software solutions for healthcare providers – where he was a board member with responsibility for sales and marketing.

McKesson releases annual results

McKesson’s worldwide sales increased by 3% to USD238 billion in the 12 months ended 31 March 2021.

Sales by McKesson’s International segment – which houses its Canadian and European businesses including Lloydspharmacy – fell by 9% on a currency-adjusted basis. Sales as reported were USD36.0 billion, representing a drop of 6% compared to the same period a year earlier.

McKesson said the fall was primarily due to the transfer of its German wholesale business to a joint venture with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA).

The two companies announced in December 2019 that they planned to form the joint venture (click here to read the News story). Completion was announced on 2 November 2020 (click here to read the News story).

WBA holds a controlling 70% stake in the joint venture, with McKesson owning the remaining 30%.

The joint venture combines WBA’s Alliance Healthcare Deutschland business with McKesson’s GEHE Pharma Handel. It does not affect any other WBA or McKesson businesses outside of the German wholesale activities.

Adjusted operating profit for the International segment was up by 5% as reported to USD485 million, giving an adjusted operating margin of 1.35%.

McKesson’s US Pharmaceutical segment reported sales up by 4% to USD189 billion.

The Medical-Surgical Solutions segment reported sales up by 22% to USD10.1 billion, primarily driven by demand for COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment.

The company’s Prescription Technology Solutions segment recorded sales up by 7% to USD2.89 billion.

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