Roz Brewer out, Ginger Graham is Walgreens’ brand-new CEO

Roz Brewer, among just 2 black females CEOs of Fortune 500 business, stepped down as CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance on Friday. Replacing her in an interim capability will be long time board member and pharma market executive Ginger Graham. That suggests Walgreens’ leading 2 tasks will be held by executives with the interim title. Former primary monetary officer James Kehoe left Walgreens in August and was changed by international controller Manmohan Mahajan till the business can discover a long-term replacement. 

A board member considering that 2010, Graham was called the board’s lead independent director in October 2022, a function thought about to be essential in handling the relationship in between a board, its chair, and their stakeholders. Stefano Pessina will stay Walgreens’ executive chairman. 

Graham ticks all packages for business America management: Harvard MBA (class of ‘86), multiple CEO gigs, and prestigious boards seats. She’s likewise a health care veteran with experiences throughout the infamously intricate market, from establishing brand-new drugs at pharmaceutical business to helming a worldwide medical innovation producer to leading a health care consulting company. 

“Ginger is the ideal person to serve as interim CEO, given her leadership experience across multiple segments of the healthcare industry, deep knowledge of WBA, and strong operational skills,” Pessina stated in a declaration revealing the management modifications. 

Walgreens decreased to comment beyond a currently released news release.

Graham’s health care experience comes at an essential time for Walgreens, as it attempts to broaden beyond its core drug store organization. Under Brewer’s management the business made a number of multibillion-dollar acquisitions to broaden into immediate care, medical care, and specialized pharmaceuticals. Wall Street, nevertheless, has actually been cool to the growth push—a lot so, that on a January financier call executives needed to ensure financiers that M&A would take a rear seat in the instant future, as the business concentrated on incorporating its brand-new acquisitions into Walgreens. 

Brewer’s departure was unexpected although not completely unanticipated, provided she was the designer of Walgreens’ growth method into health care. “With the increased focus on growing the Walgreens Healthcare segment … it makes sense to retrench and search for a new leadership team with more extensive backgrounds in healthcare services,” an Evercore expert informed Reuters. 

Most of Brewer’s experience remains in retail, she formerly held positions at Starbucks and Walmart. “Health care is not Ms. Brewer’s forte,” a handling director at speaking with company GlobalInformation informed the New York Times. The business’s monetary efficiency has actually likewise been uninspired, with its stock striking an 11-year low in May. 

Graham stated she would want to consistent the business as it started its look for a long-term CEO. “My focus will be on our people and our operations, working together to drive shareholder value creation and ensuring a smooth transition as soon as we identify the next CEO for the future” she stated in a declaration. 

She’ll probably need to discover a long-term CFO too, considered that Kehoe left for fintech huge FIS Global simply weeks prior to Brewer left the business.

Graham’s newest experience prior to her brand-new interim task was CEO of health care consultancy Two Trees Consulting, from 2007 to 2016. Before her practically decade-long stint as an expert she operated in drug advancement as the president of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, which concentrates on diabetes medication, from 2003 to 2007. One of the most popular drugs that got FDA approval under Graham’s watch was blood glucose control medication Byetta. It ended up being so popular that Amylin needed to ask medical professionals not to begin clients on the medication till a brand-new factory was finished, due to the fact that it couldn’t fulfill need, the New York Times reported at the time. 

Before she established and offered diabetes drugs, Graham was group chairman at Guidant, among the leading makers of cardiological medical gadgets, like pacemakers and stents. In her function she had a broad required, managing the business’s operations in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and emerging markets, according to files submitted with the SEC. Guidant was formed after Eli Lilly, where Graham got her very first task after organization school, divested its Advanced Cardiovascular Systems (A/C) department, which she led at the time. Graham was amongst the executives who led the transfer to take ACS public, in 1994, under the brand-new name Guidant.  

In the early 2000s, she contributed a number of short articles to the Harvard Business Review. One of which, released in 2002 and entitled, “If You Want Honesty, Break Some Rules,” appears a precursor to today’s stylish management design of compassion and openness. When leaders concentrate on “top down managerial control” they wind up producing a “culture poisoned with speculation, blame shifting, and self-protective behavior,” she composed. She went on to motivate executives to “break some of the rules of traditional management” to construct much better business cultures. During her time there, Guidant would be called among Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For in America” and among IndustryWeek’s “100 Best Managed Companies in the World.” Another similarly prescient, although maybe more doubtful, short article proclaimed the value of lobbying. 

Graham would ultimately land an area on the professors at the Harvard Business School in 2008. While there she taught classes at the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.

Despite taking control of as interim CEO Graham will need to handle a having a hard time stock rate. Walgreens stock has actually fallen 36% considering that the start of the year, consisting of 6.1% on Friday after the statement about the CEO stepping down.


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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