Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) CEO Roz Brewer stepped down from her role on Thursday, February 18, 2021, after more than two years in the role. Brewer assumed the role of CEO and a seat on the company’s board of directors in October 2018. She had previously served as chief operating officer of WBA and spent over a decade at Starbucks prior to joining the drugstore chain. Brewer said she would stay on until the end of March as the company completes the search for her replacement. In a statement, Brewer said she was proud of the progress WBA had made during her tenure due to the strength of our people and brands, our digital platform, and our continued focus on customer experience.
The board named Saul Berke, former group global president of Boots, as interim CEO while it searches for a permanent replacement. Berke joined WHBA in 2006 and has held a number of leadership roles at the company in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. His tenure in the role is expected to be a few months while the company searches for a long-term replacement. Walgreens Boots Alliance executive chairman Stefano Pessina has expressed optimism that the company will find a new CEO within a few months.
Brewer’s departure from Walgreens Boots Alliance comes amid the company’s efforts to further expand its presence in the retail pharmacy sector. The company recently acquired pharmacy benefits manager Assets Health in a $1.5 billion deal. It also recently partnered with Microsoft to deploy digital kiosks in its stores to provide self-care health services. In addition, WBA has been expanding its health care and beauty offerings with acquisitions of cosmetic companies such as Auraline Beauty and George’s Hair Care.