CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance Stefano Pessina steps down

Stefano Pessina

Chief executive of Boots owner Walgreens Boots Alliance, Stefano Pessina will be stepping down to become executive chairman of the company, after running the business since the merger of Walgreens and Alliance Boots.

Pessina built the £26 billion empire through a series of deals over four decades, and was officially named chief executive in 2015, shortly after the merger of Walgreens and Alliance Boots.

The board of the US-based parent company of Boots is currently searching for a new successor to take up Pessina’s role.

Pessina who owns a 16% stake in the global giant will assume the role of executive chairman once a new chief executive is appointed.

His new role as executive chairman will see him replace James Skinner, who is also stepping down but will remain on the board.

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s shares have been hammered in recent years after a poor performance in its Boots UK chain and tough retail competition.

The coronavirus pandemic has plunged the health and beauty retailer deeper into crisis and earlier this month Boots cut 4,000 jobs and shut 48 opticians after announcing 200 store closures. Revenues in its stores have halved during lockdown.

Stefano Pessina said: “I look forward to continuing to serve the company as executive chairman, and to helping to ensure the success of the new chief executive officer in every way possible.”