Alliance Boots executive chairman and serial deal-maker Stefano Pessina has been appointed to lead strategy at the combined Walgreens Boots Alliance company.
As Walgreens confirmed it will take over Alliance Boots in full next year, the US retailer unveiled the new merged structure of the combined businesses and its three-year “Next Chapter” plan.
Pessina, current executive chairman of Alliance Boots, will be appointed executive vice chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance when the US company completes its takeover of its UK counterpart. He will be responsible for mergers and acquisitions and will be chairman of a new strategy committee of the board of directors.
Pessina said: “Together with Walgreens, we have already made good progress over the past two years and I strongly believe that the merger will bring significant growth opportunities for both mature and emerging markets.
“Now it is time to back up these words with action.”
Walgreens today confirmed it will buy the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots. The deal will complete in the first quarter of 2015.
Walgreens boss Greg Wasson will lead the new company as president and chief executive of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
The merged company, Walgreens Boots Alliance, will comprise four divisions: Walgreens, Boots, pharmaceutical wholesale and international retail and global brands.
Walgreens Boots Alliance will be based in Chicago, while Boots will remain headquartered in Nottingham.
Meanwhile Alex Gourlay, the former chief executive of Boots health and beauty who last year moved to Walgreens to take up the role of president of customer experience and daily living, will become executive vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens.
Alliance Boots managing director of health and beauty UK and ROI Simon Roberts will be appointed executive vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Boots. And Alliance Boots managing director of health and beauty international Ken Murphy will become executive vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of global brands.
Alliance Boots chief executive of wholesale and brands Ornella Barra will become executive vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president and chief executive of global wholesale and international retail.
Other appointments include:
- Jeff Berkowitz, president of Walgreens Boots Alliance Development GmbH, will become executive vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of pharma and global market access, which will include responsibility for specialty pharmacy.
- Tim McLevish, Walgreens executive vice president and chief financial officer, will serve in that role for Walgreens Boots Alliance.
- Tim Theriault, chief information, innovation and improvement officer at Walgreens, will assume the role of executive vice president and global chief information officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Wasson said: “Expanding globally with Alliance Boots will make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible to communities here in America and around the world.
“In addition, Stefano and I are pleased with the comprehensive plan we have announced today as part of Step 2. These elements will provide additional shareholder value creation, both in the near and long term. I congratulate our teams for getting us to this point and together we have a bright future.”
The new plan focuses on creating a differentiated retail experience which “transforms” the retail model for health and wellness and the way women shop for beauty, integrated pharmacy and healthcare. The strategy also aims to “reinvent” the pharmaceutical value chain.
The company expects the strategy to deliver sales of between $126bn and $130bn for the 2016 financial year, while it expects to exceed the previously forecasted synergy goal of $1bn by the end of 2017.
Wasson added that the reason for remaining headquartered in the US, rather than moving to Europe where it could have taken advantage of tax breaks through a ‘tax inversion’, was due to complications in the company structure, while Walgreens added it was mindful of public sentiment in the US around tax inversions.
“We undertook an extensive and rigorous analysis with a team of leading experts to determine the most optimal – and sustainable – course of action,” said Wasson. “We took into account all factors, including that we could not arrive at a structure that provided the company and our board with the requisite level of confidence that a transaction of this significance would need to withstand extensive IRS review and scrutiny.
“As a result the company concluded it was not in the best long-term interest of our shareholders to attempt to re-domicile outside the U.S.”
Walgreens to complete takeover of Alliance Boots
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Alliance Boots' Stefano Pessina to lead strategy at Walgreens Boots Alliance