A little over a month after the abrupt departure of CEO Rosalind Brewer, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has named former Express Scripts CEO and Cigna executive Tim Wentworth to the top role, effective October 23.
The switch comes as WBA focuses on “right-sizing its business” following a period of share price declines and lagging profits. In recent months these efforts have included plans to close 150 Walgreens locations in the U.S. and 300 Boots locations in the UK, corporate layoffs and the sale of its remaining shares in Option Care Health to pay down debt. Additionally, on Monday U.S. Walgreens employees staged a walkout to protest what they say are harsh working conditions, being driven in part by a pharmacist shortage in the country.
Despite these challenges, WBA has set its sights on becoming “the independent partner of choice, not just in pharmacy but also in healthcare services,” according to a company statement, and Wentworth is well versed in that arena. Most recently he served as the founding CEO of Evernorth, Cigna’s health services organization that partners with health plans, employers and government organizations to bring together health service capabilities. Prior to Cigna, Wentworth was CEO of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, which he grew into a Fortune 22 company with more than $100 billion in revenue and 26,000 employees. Previously, he led Medco‘s employer and key accounts organizations for nearly 14 years and also served as President and CEO of Accredo, Medco’s specialty pharmacy.
“The WBA Board has been focused on bringing in a CEO with deep healthcare experience, and we are pleased to welcome Tim Wentworth as the company’s new CEO,” said Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman of WBA in a statement. “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 healthcare company.”
Over the past three years, WBA has been enhancing its roster of healthcare services, including taking a majority stake in VillageMD in order to bring full-service primary care practices into Walgreens stores, and taking full ownership of medical services provider Shields Health Solutions.
“WBA has a differentiated model with the power to build on the company’s pharmacy strength and trusted brand to evolve healthcare delivery,” said Wentworth in a statement. “I’ve spent my career working to improve the health of the patients we’ve served. I believe WBA is well-positioned to deliver more personalized, coordinated care and achieve better outcomes at a lower cost.”