Walgreens Needs a New CEO

Jennifer Guhl
Contributor Writer
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Rosalind Brewer will be stepping down as Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) CEO and board member, effective August 31, 2023. Ginger Graham, currently the lead independent director of WBA, will serve as interim CEO.

Brewer will continue advising WBA as the company searches for a permanent CEO.

“Roz navigated the company through the global pandemic, overseeing the critical rollout of vaccines in Walgreens pharmacies and to high-risk populations across the country,” said Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of WBA. “She furthered our consumer-facing capabilities while supporting the culture of community and team-member engagement in difficult times.”

Brewer was named CEO of WBA in March 2021, coinciding with COVID-19 vaccines becoming available throughout the U.S. She led the creation of a vaccine scheduling system that helped WBA deliver 70 million vaccine shots.

She previously served as the chief operating officer, group president, and member of the board of directors for Starbucks Corporation, where she accelerated growth, expanded the coffee leaders' global reach, and drove value. 

Ginger Graham has worked within the healthcare industry for nearly three decades, has served on the WBA Board of Directors since 2010, and was named WBA Board lead independent director in 2022. She previously served as president and CEO for Amylin Pharmaceuticals, focusing on delivering first-in-class medicines for people dealing with diabetes, and as group chairman, office of the president for the global leader in cardiology medical technology, Guidant Corporation.

She has served on numerous Boards of healthcare companies and was on the faculty of Harvard Business School.

“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,” said Mr. Pessina. “Our Board and leadership team will intensify our focus on creating value for our customers and our shareholders while we advance the search for a successor with deep healthcare experience to lead in today’s dynamic environment.”