Walgreen Co. and Alliance Boots GmbH have named Alex Gourlay, chief executive officer of the health and beauty division, Alliance Boots, as a Walgreens executive vice president and president of customer experience and daily living, effective October 1.

Walgreen Co., Alliance Boots GmbH, Alex Gourlay, Walgreens, Greg Wasson, Stefano Pessina, Bryan Pugh, Moe Alkemade, Shannon Curtin, Robert Tompkins, Jim Jensen, Beth Stiller, Linda Severin

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Gourlay to move from Alliance Boots to Walgreens

August 14th, 2013
Alex Gourlay

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. and Alliance Boots GmbH have named Alex Gourlay, chief executive officer of the health and beauty division, Alliance Boots, as a Walgreens executive vice president and president of customer experience and daily living, effective October 1.

In his new role Gourlay will report to Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson and 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.

"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," says Wasson. "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, comments, "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 well-being 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 and 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."

Walgreens has also enhanced its Daily Living business organization with the promotion and leadership expansion of key marketing and merchandising executives to further accelerate the company’s strategic growth drivers and advance its vision to be the leader in health and daily living.

The promotions and other changes, which also take effect October 1, include:
• Bryan Pugh becomes corporate vice president, U.S. merchandising program development and execution. As Walgreens continues to hone and expand transformational merchandise programs and prepares for further joint merchandise initiatives with Alliance Boots across beauty, personal care, health and wellness, Pugh’s newly created role will bridge operations and merchandising functions and he will oversee rollout of new merchandising initiatives to the field, including operating standards, cross-functional deployment and flagship rollout.
• Moe Alkemade becomes group vice president, global sourcing. With his deep experience in developing and marketing consumer packaged goods programs, Alkemade successfully led the restructuring and strong growth trajectory of Walgreens’ private brand portfolio, and established the foundation for Walgreens’ global sourcing capabilities. In his newly created role, Alkemade will focus on optimizing global sourcing and Daily Living buying synergies with Alliance Boots and AmerisourceBergen.
• Shannon Curtin is promoted to group vice president and general merchandise manager, beauty. Curtin will accelerate development and growth of Walgreens’ beauty proposition and customer experience across the United States, particularly underserved U.S. markets, and collaborate with the Alliance Boots and global partnership teams in maximizing U.S. opportunities for the Boots beauty proposition.
• Robert Tompkins is promoted to group vice president and general merchandise manager, health and wellness. Tompkins will accelerate development of innovative health and wellness products and programs for the United States, collaborating with Alliance Boots and global partnership teams on joint program development.
• Jim Jensen becomes divisional vice president and general merchandise manager, seasonal and general merchandise, providing high-level, single-accountability focus on seasonal daily living products and promotions that are a key driver in Walgreens’ monthly daily living sales.
• Beth Stiller is promoted to group vice president, category planning, formats and innovation, and takes on an expanded role in merchandising with responsibility for category development, space planning, merchandise formats and program innovation, and private brands.
• Linda Severin, formerly of Kroger Co., where she led the redevelopment of its private brand portfolio, joins Walgreens as divisional vice president, private brands, responsible for product development, brand management and program execution of Walgreens’ private brands.