Alliance Boots has promoted Alex Gourlay to chief executive of its health and beauty division.

Gourlay, previously managing director of Boots UK, with responsibility for health and beauty, has also been appointed a member of the board of directors of Alliance Boots.

The health and beauty giant has also promoted Ornella Barra, board member since the creation of the company and wholesale and commercial affairs director of Alliance Boots, to chief executive of the pharmaceutical wholesale division.

Alliance Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina said: “Alex will quickly prove a real asset to the board with his extensive knowledge of pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing.

"We have a strong and forward-thinking management team which benefits from the wide experience of Ornella, Alex and Steve Duncan (executive chairman, health and beauty) who work closely together at both board and operational level.”