Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has a new chief executive. The pharmacy, retail and health care company announced that Tim Wentworth is replacing Rosalind Brewer, who stepped down from her CEO role last month in what was described as a mutual decision between her and the company’s board of directors. Independent director Ginger Graham has served as interim CEO since Sept. 1.
Wentworth will officially step into the position on Oct. 23. Most recently, he was CEO at Cigna’s health services organization, Evernorth. His deep health services and pharmacy background includes a tenure as CEO of Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States, and a 14-year service at Medco and its specialty pharmacy business, Accredo. During his lengthy career, the Cornell University graduate also held leadership roles at Mary Kay, Inc. and PepsiCo.
Wentworth’s hiring underscores WBA’s focus on its health services at a time when traditional pharmacy and retail companies are widening their reach in that arena. “The WBA board has been focused on bringing in a CEO with deep health care experience, and we are pleased to welcome Tim Wentworth as the company’s new CEO. He is an accomplished and respected leader with profound expertise in the payer and pharmacy space as well as supply chain, IT and human resources. We are confident he is the right person to lead WBA’s next phase of growth into a customer-centric health care company,” said Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of WBA.
The new CEO will begin his duties by working to overcome recent challenges. Walgreens will release its fourth quarter and fiscal 2023 financial report on Oct. 12, following a mixed third quarter with lower earnings and profitability. This week, the company is facing a walkout of some of its pharmacists who claim that working conditions are unsafe due to understaffing and other issues. WBA is also still searching for a new CFO following the July exit of James Kehoe.
Wentworth said he is ready to take up the mantle at a pivotal time. “I am honored and excited for the incredible opportunity to lead the next phase of WBA’s evolution, working with the board and WBA leadership to deliver sustainable value and results. WBA has a differentiated model with the power to build on the company’s pharmacy strength and trusted brand to evolve health care delivery,” he remarked, adding, “I fully recognize the challenges that health plans, health care providers, pharmacies, and retailers are confronting today and am confident that WBA, and its customer- and patient-focused teams, can seize the opportunities of a dynamic marketplace and be the partner of choice.”
Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, which operates nearly 9,000 retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is No. 5 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.