Retail News Breaks
Walmart names new health and wellness chief
April 2nd, 2014
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Labeed Diab has been appointed senior vice president and president of health and wellness at Walmart U.S.
Walmart said Wednesday that Diab takes over that post from Dr. John Agwunobi, who is leaving the company after serving in that role since 2007.
The move was announced in a company memo by Duncan Mac Naughton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S.
The discount store giant noted that Diab has a strong background in operations and health care, most recently leading the Walmart U.S. Midwest division as senior vice president. Under his leadership, the division became the first to penetrate the urban market by leading the opening of small-format concept stores throughout Chicago, the retailer said.
Diab began his career as a pharmacy manager with American Stores, the parent of Jewel Osco/Savon Drugs. He served in regional and divisional operations roles at CVS Caremark Corp. and Rite Aid Corp. before joining Walmart in 2009 as director of operations.
"As a college student, I decided to pursue a career in pharmacy. Health care was my passion then, and it remains my passion today," Diab said in a statement. "With millions of customers shopping our stores every day, we have a responsibility to provide best-in-class health care for our customers. In this new role, I look forward to going back to my days of educating customers and offering health care products and services that will help our customers live healthier lives."
A pediatrician, Agwunobi started at Walmart in September 2007 after serving as assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as an admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Before that, he served as Florida's secretary of health and state health officer.
Mac Naughton said in the memo that Agwunobi led much of Walmart's efforts to develop health and wellness solutions that have cut the cost of health care for millions of Americans.
"During his tenure, [Agwunobi] has helped make a difference on important issues that matter to our customers and associates. He made enhancements to the prescription program, which drove down prescription medication costs and provided ongoing savings through our pharmacy offerings. And he has continued to drive innovation in the space by testing new concepts that position Walmart well for the future," Mac Naughton stated. "Now, as the face of health care in America continues to change, he's looking forward to exploring and engaging in other areas in the field."
Walmart is the nation's third-largest pharmacy retailer by sales, totaling more than $22 billion, and the fourth-largest by pharmacy count, with over 4,500 pharmacy locations, according to the 2013 Annual Report of Retail Pharmacy by Chain Drug Review.
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