Roz Brewer is news CEO of WBA

Walgreens Boots Alliance, the parent company of Boots UK, has named Rosalind Brewer, current chief operating officer of Starbucks Corp, as its next chief executive, making her the only Black woman to currently run a Fortune 500 company.

Brewer will replace Stefano Pessina as CEO and join the WBA board of directors from March 15.

“Brewer brings to WBA a proven track record of leadership and operational expertise at multi-national corporations, with deep experience in strategic development, marketing, digital transformation and loyalty, innovation and technology, supply chain and store development,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 27).

At Starbucks Brewer has been instrumental in helping the company accelerate its growth strategy, expand its global reach and drive value for a diverse group of stakeholders.

Brewer said: “WBA is a world-class and trusted organization whose purpose I deeply admire.

“The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and I am excited to work alongside the entire WBA team as we deliver further innovation and positively impact the lives of millions of people around the world every day.

“This is especially true today as the company plays a crucial role in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic. I step into this role with great optimism for the future of WBA, a shared responsibility to serve our customers, patients and communities, and a commitment to drive long-term sustainable value for shareholders.”

Prior to joining Starbucks, Brewer served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, the members-only warehouse channel of Walmart Inc. While there, she successfully grew membership, transformed merchandise and amplified the use of digital technology to enable a seamless shopping experience at scale, which led to sequentially improved comp sales.

Meanwhile, Pessina will replace James Skinner as executive chairman of WBA, with Skinner remaining on the WBA board as a non-executive director to facilitate a smooth leadership transition.

Pessina has served as the CEO of the company for six years following a merger between Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014.

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