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Rosalind Brewer has abruptly stepped down as chief government of Walgreens Boots Alliance after two and a half years when the US-listed pharmacy group’s valuation halved and the group deserted a deliberate sale of its UK retail chain.
The retailer, which had already slashed its revenue forecast in June, mentioned it now anticipated its full-year adjusted earnings to be “at or close to the low finish of its beforehand acknowledged vary” of $4 to $4.05 per share.
An announcement from the corporate mentioned its board and Brewer had mutually agreed that she ought to depart with fast impact. She would proceed to advise the corporate because it looked for a everlasting successor.
Ginger Graham, a board member since 2010 and former chief of Amylin Prescription drugs, will fill the chief government function whereas it searches for “a successor with deep healthcare expertise”.
Brewer’s sudden exit comes inside 5 weeks of WBA’s announcement that its chief monetary officer, James Kehoe, could be leaving.
Stefano Pessina, the billionaire government chair whose dealmaking created WBA, recruited Brewer from Starbucks in January 2021, hailing her as a “implausible operator” who might break the group’s five-year sample of underperformance.
Brewer, one of many few African-American girls to run an organization within the S&P 500, arrived as pharmacy chains had been being boosted by the robust early uptake of Covid-19 vaccines. Nonetheless, she has since struggled with weakening vaccine demand, rising retail competitors and wavering client spending, which have additionally weighed on rival CVS Well being.
At its newest earnings announcement in June she mentioned the group had been hit by “the fast softening of the macro setting and a extra cautious and value-driven client”. Regardless of stronger progress in its gross sales, Boots is shutting 300 UK shops, the newest of a collection of closures, whereas Walgreens is closing 150 US retailers. The closures come after WBA raised its cost-cutting goal in response to the newest figures.
Final summer time WBA deserted an attempt to sell Boots, saying that sudden upheavals in credit score markets had meant that the “important curiosity” from potential bidders had not resulted in provides that mirrored its potential worth.
In a LinkedIn message she described as “one of the tough notes I’ve ever written over the course of my profession”, Brewer mentioned she was most happy with overseeing a “strategic pivot” into healthcare, the place three acquisitions had opened important new income streams.
Pessina, who owns nearly 17 per cent of the corporate, credited her with navigating the corporate by way of the pandemic, overseeing its vaccine rollout and bettering its “consumer-facing capabilities”.
WBA shares had been down 5 per cent at $24.05 at noon on Friday. They’ve fallen greater than 35 per cent this 12 months to ranges beforehand seen in the course of the international monetary disaster, taking the group’s market capitalisation beneath $22bn.