Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: 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 Richard Ashworth, Walgreens Corporate Operations Vice President for the Western United States, has been appointed as Director of Healthcare, Health & Beauty UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) at Alliance Boots. He will report to Simon Roberts, Managing Director, Health & Beauty UK and ROI. In this new role, Ashworth will bring his extensive leadership and knowledge in health care and will work in close collaboration with the experienced teams in both countries, to lead the development and delivery of the health care strategy for Boots in the UK and ROI. Greg Wasson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Walgreens, said, “Richard’s two decades of health care experience, leadership and service to Walgreens in a variety of roles has been invaluable to our company as we continued to develop our strategy to transform community pharmacy. His move to Alliance Boots represents yet another step forward and is further testament to the strong and steady progress we are making in advancing our strategic partnership.” Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman of Alliance Boots, said, “We are very pleased to welcome Richard to our Group. His appointment further illustrates the progress we continue to make towards achieving our vision for the creation of the first global health and wellbeing enterprise. As he familiarizes himself with the UK and Irish markets, Richard’s experience at Walgreens will bring positive benefits to Boots and the delivery of its health care plans, as well as help further combine best practices of our two companies.” Ashworth’s appointment further contributes to the Walgreens and Alliance Boots strategic partnership, announced in June 2012, when the companies initiated a two-step process that would allow for the thoughtful integration of the two organizations. The convergence 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, and continued with the appointment of Alex Gourlay, former Chief Executive of Alliance Boots Health & Beauty Division, as Walgreens Executive Vice President, President of Customer Experience and Daily Living, in August 2013.
As Corporate Operations Vice President for Walgreens since 2011, Ashworth, a pharmacist, led more than 2,000 locations in the Western division, where he was primarily responsible for the overall development and growth of all drugstores and health care points of care. Joining the company in 1992 as a service clerk, he has held various store operations leadership positions from Pharmacy Supervisor to Market Vice President. He was promoted in 2007 to Executive Vice President of Pharmacy Benefit Management services for Walgreens Health Initiatives, a subsidiary of Walgreens. In that role, he led sales and client services, clinical services and health outcomes, provider relations, and the operating teams. In 2010, Ashworth was promoted to Vice President of Pharmacy Operations, overseeing the clinical, operational and overall development of Walgreens pharmacies nationwide and implementation of pharmacy technology and services.About Walgreens As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2013 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 8,131 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 750 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* hearing care 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 U.S., 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.