Alliance Boots has drafted in Walgreens veteran Richard Ashworth as a director in a bid to build on its vision of creating a “global leader in pharmacy and health retailing”.

Richard Ashworth, Walgreens corporate operations vice president for the Western US, has joined Alliance Boots in the newly-created role of healthcare director of health and beauty, UK and Republic of Ireland.

He will work in close collaboration with the teams in both countries to head the development and delivery of the Boots healthcare offer for customers in the UK and ROI.

Ashworth’s appointment comes 16 months after Alliance Boots and US pharmacy giant Walgreens revealed they would form a strategic partnership that will make it the “global leader in pharmacy and health retailing” with more than 11,000 stores in 12 countries.

Ashworth joined Walgreens as a service clerk in 1992, and went on to hold various store operations leadership positions from pharmacy supervisor to market vice president.

In 2010, Ashworth was promoted to vice president of pharmacy operations, where he was charged with the clinical, operational and overall development of Walgreens pharmacies nationwide and implementation of pharmacy technology and services.

He will report to Simon Roberts, managing director of health and beauty UK and ROI.

Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Richard to our group. His appointment further illustrates the progress we continue to make towards achieving our vision for the creation of the first global health and wellbeing enterprise. As he familiarises himself with the UK and Irish markets, Richard’s experience at Walgreens will bring positive benefits to Boots and the delivery of its healthcare plans, as well as help further combine best practices of our two companies.”

Greg Wasson, president and chief executive at Walgreens, said Ashworth’s move to Alliance Boots represents “yet another step forward and is further testament to the strong and steady progress we are making in advancing our strategic partnership”.