Walgreens Appoints Global CFO

0aajameskehoeWalgreens Boots Alliance has appointed James Kehoe, who most recently served as CFO and board director of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, as EVP and Global CFO, effective June 1.

Kehoe takes over from George Fairweather, who has been in the role since 2015 and aided the Walgreens-Boots Alliance merger. Fairweather is stepping down after a combined 16 years in the senior finance leadership position in Walgreens Boots Alliance and legacy companies.

Fairweather will serve as senior advisor to CEO Stefano Pessina for business development and finance, and as part of this role will help ensure the smooth transition of financial operations.

The move comes less than two months after Walgreens Boots Alliance poached former Dixons Carphone CEO Sebastian James to head up its UK-based Boots division as Senior VP, President and Managing Director.

Kehoe has a global-intensive background that will likely benefit Walgreens and Boots as both pharmacies continue their worldwide expansion. Kehoe worked at Tokyo-based Takeda Pharmaceutical since June 2016, and before that he served as EVP and CFO of Kraft Foods Group in the U.S. Prior to that, he held several finance-related positions over 25 years with assignments in Ireland, Germany, Italy, the U.S., Austria, Switzerland and Canada.

The shuffle at Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens comes as the health care industry contracts and competition ramps up. Walgreens has already acquired 1,900+ Rite Aid stores (Albertsons acquired the rest of the pharmacy chain), and has reportedly been in talks to acquire AmerisourceBergen, a drug distributor in which it already owns a stake. CVS Health acquired Aetna for $69 billion, with the pharmacy seeking to lower health care costs for its customers, while health insurer Cigna is planning to acquire pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts for $67 billion.

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