Walgreens and Alliance Boots Advance Vision to Establish First Global Pharmacy-Led, Health and Wellb

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Walgreens and Alliance Boots Advance Vision to Establish First Global Pharmacy-Led, Health and Wellbeing Enterprise with Appointment of Alex Gourlay as Walgreens Executive Vice President, President of Customer Experience and Daily Living

DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Walgreen Co. (NYS: WAG) (NAS: WAG) , the largest drugstore chain in the U.S., and Alliance Boots GmbH, a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group, today announced that Alex Gourlay, Chief Executive of the Health & Beauty Division, Alliance Boots, has been appointed as Walgreens Executive Vice President, President of Customer Experience and Daily Living, effective Oct. 1.

In this new role reporting to Walgreens President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Wasson, Gourlay will lead an enhanced Walgreens Daily Living business operation overseeing customer experience, U.S. merchandising, marketing, customer insights, daily living products and promotions. The move follows the Walgreens and Alliance Boots strategic partnership announcement in June 2012, when the companies set forth a two-step process that would allow for the thoughtful integration of the two organizations. That process began at the end of 2012 with the establishment of a joint venture in Switzerland and the transition of key Walgreens and Alliance Boots executives to that entity.

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. At Walgreens, Alex 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. As he gains more experience in the U.S. market, we will be better positioned than ever to accelerate our daily living journey by combining the best practices of both Walgreens and Alliance Boots. Alex's new position is a clear testament to the positive progress we are making in bringing our two organizations together. In the future, you can expect to hear about additional moves by both organizations to further support the combination of our two iconic brands."

Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman of Alliance Boots, commented, "Following last year's announcement of our strategic partnership, Alliance Boots and Walgreens have already made good progress in paving the way for the creation of the first global health and wellbeing enterprise. 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. As a trusted pharmacy brand with a strong heritage, Walgreens consumer profile in the U.S. is remarkably similar to Boots in the U.K. We expect that further reciprocal appointments will follow over time as we increasingly work closely together."

In June 2012, when Walgreens and Alliance Boots announced their strategic partnership, the companies highlighted the opportunity to bring together their strengths and expertise, expand their range of innovative, cost-effective products and services for patients and customers, and create an unparalleled portfolio of retail and business brands including Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots, and Alliance Healthcare. In October 2012, Walgreens and Alliance Boots announced the establishment of a jointly owned company, called Walgreens Boots Alliance Development GmbH, based in Bern, Switzerland.

Gourlay's appointment to Walgreens advances the two companies' partnership, integration and synergies of businesses, talent and innovation. Named Chief Executive of the Health & Beauty Division, Alliance Boots, in January 2009 and appointed to the Group's board of directors, he previously was Managing Director of Boots U.K. and a member of the Alliance Boots Group operating committee following the acquisition of Alliance Boots plc by AB Acquisitions Ltd in 2007. Gourlay also had served as Healthcare Director of Boots the Chemists, having previously held senior management positions in store operations and human resources. He is a pharmacist and a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,105 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

About Alliance Boots

Alliance Boots is a leading international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, we are committed to improving health in the local communities we serve and helping our customers and patients to look and feel their best. Our focus is on growing our two core businesses: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution, while increasingly developing and internationalising our product brands.

Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 108,000* people. Alliance Boots has pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in nine* countries and operates more than 3,100* health and beauty retail stores, of which just over 3,000* have a pharmacy. In addition, Alliance Boots has around 605* optical practices, of which around 190* operate on a franchise basis, and around 390* hearingcare practices. Our pharmaceutical wholesale businesses deliver over 4.6 billion* units each year to more than 170,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals from over 370* distribution centres in 20* countries.

In June 2012, Alliance Boots announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with Walgreen Co., the largest drugstore chain in the US, to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

* Figures are approximations as at 31 March 2013 and include associates and joint ventures.


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KEYWORDS:   United Kingdom  United States  Europe  North America  Illinois


The article Walgreens and Alliance Boots Advance Vision to Establish First Global Pharmacy-Led, Health and Wellbeing Enterprise with Appointment of Alex Gourlay as Walgreens Executive Vice President, President of Customer Experience and Daily Living originally appeared on Fool.com.

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