Alliance Boots health and beauty chief executive Alex Gourlay has been appointed to sister retailer Walgreens to lead its customer experience division, entering into new phase after a 30-year career at the retailer.
Gourlay will take up his new role as executive vice president, and president of customer experience and daily living on October 1 at the US giant.
The move comes a year after Alliance Boots entered into a merger with US drugstore Walgreens.
In his new role, Gourlay will lead “an enhanced” Walgreens daily living business, which oversees customer experience, US merchandising, marketing, customer insights, daily living products and promotions.
Walgreens chief executive Gregory Wasson said: “We are very pleased to welcome Alex to Walgreens as we continue to advance our Alliance Boots strategic partnership.
“Alex’s move to lead the Walgreens daily living and merchandising team represents another important step forward, and is a key part of our cultural integration. He will lead a strong daily living business team - which is already building momentum - to further advance our vision to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond.”
Alliance Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina said: “Today’s announcement is further proof of our strong pace and momentum. Alex’s contribution to the success of Alliance Boots and its health & beauty division has been invaluable.
“I am convinced that he will also make a huge difference in advancing the Walgreens/Alliance Boots strategic partnership, sharing his leadership and experience in driving excellent customer care and developing innovative product and service offerings.”
At Alliance Boots Gourlay will be replaced by Simon Roberts - the current co-chief operating officer of Boots UK, who has been appointed managing director of health and beauty UK and Republic of Ireland. Ken Murphy, Roberts’ fellow co-chief operating officer, has been appointed managing director of international health and beauty and brands businesses.
Gourlay said the move to Walgreens was like “the perfect job” because of the opportunity to work in a different market.
He said: “For me, it was a big decision because I have been at Boots for a long time.”
He added that he took up the role because of the team at Walgreens. “I’m really proud of what we’re doing in the UK and I’m confident about how the merger is progressing.
“The move is an opportunity to learn about the biggest healthcare and beauty care market in the world. And thirdly I really like the Walgreens business. Both Alliance Boots and Walgreens are fantastic brands and have great people.”