Walgreens has made three new executive appointments, including its newly created role of Chief Product Officer. Former Calvin Klein executive Linh Peters has been named SVP and Chief Marketing Officer; Luke Rauch rejoins the Walgreens team, after a stint at parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance, as SVP and Chief Merchandising Officer; and former Walmart executive Bala Visalatha will take on the new role of SVP and Chief Product Officer.
Tracey Brown, President of Retail Products and Chief Customer Officer at Walgreens, pointed to the new hires’ track record of innovation and decades of experience, saying that all three executives would be critical in the company’s ongoing transformation toward a more healthcare-focused business. Brown’s own role of Chief Customer Officer also is a recent addition to the Walgreens leadership lineup, created in late 2021.
As Chief Marketing Officer, Peters will oversee the vision, strategic direction and performance of Walgreens’ marketing activities, including brand design and brand positioning. She was most recently Global Chief Marketing Officer at Calvin Klein and brings more than 20 years of experience with some of the world’s biggest consumer brands, including Starbucks, Target and Ulta Beauty.
New Chief Merchandising Officer Rauch has a long history at the company, having previously served as Group VP of Owned Brands and Customer Experience for Walgreens before his recent role as Chief of Staff to Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Roz Brewer.
In the newly created role of Chief Product Officer, Visalatha will lead the execution of Walgreens’ customer product strategy and development as well as user experience, looking across product lines and functions to ensure all product solutions are aligned to the customer strategy. Visalatha previously served as VP of Ecommerce at Walmart U.S., where he was instrumental in launching the new Walmart app and website, creating a unified omnichannel experience for customers.
The new appointments come as Walgreens continues to broaden its business into the health and wellness space with the introduction of a wellness-focused credit card, plans for the addition of Village Medical primary care practices to locations across the country and the continued rollout of Health Corner in-person and virtual medical care centers in partnership with Blue Shield of California.
“I am thrilled to have Linh, Luke and Bala join the Walgreens retail products and customer leadership team, and I’m confident that their collective decades of retail expertise and deep involvement with launching new customer experiences will accelerate growth in our company,” said Brown in a statement. “As strong innovators in their own right, each has an excellent track record when it comes to successfully identifying white spaces across different customer touch points and tracking evolving consumer trends, which will be instrumental as we transform our business.”