Walgreens Boots Alliance boss Brewer to depart

Rosalind Brewer, the chief executive of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), has stepped down from her role after less than three years.

WBA said that the former Starbucks executive’s departure was a mutually agreed decision, though did not provide further details on her exit from the company after a turbulent period in which the company’s share price nearly halved. Brewer has agreed to continue to advise WBA during the transition to a new permanent boss.

Lead independent director Ginger Graham has been made Walgreens’ interim chief exec while it searches for a permanent replacement.

While WBA praised Brewer for overseeing the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines, the company’s pivot from its core pharmacy business into healthcare (the company now operates doctors’ offices and offers more services beyond its core retail business) has seen its share price decline by almost 50 per cent since Brewer’s appointment in March 2021.

Brewer, who was one of the few Black chief executives on the Fortune 500 list, will receive a $9 million severance and a monthly consulting fee of $375,000 until February 2024.

Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of the WBA, said: “On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank Roz for her contributions to WBA. Roz navigated the Company through the global pandemic, overseeing the critical rollout of vaccines in Walgreens pharmacies and to high-risk populations across the country.

“She furthered our consumer facing capabilities while supporting the culture of community and team-member engagement in difficult times. We appreciate her hard work and commitment to the Company during this period of unprecedented change.”

Brewer stated her gratitude for the "opportunity to lead Walgreens Boots Alliance and to work alongside such talented and dedicated colleagues." She said that she remains confident that "WBA is on track to be a leading consumer-centric healthcare company, serving thousands of communities across the country."

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