Walgreens Boots Alliance has named a longtime industry veteran president of Walgreens. John Standley has been named to the position, effective immediately, filling a spot left by Richard Ashworth earlier this year. WBA co-COO Alex Gourlay had been leading Walgreens on an interim basis.
Standley’s career in pharmacy, retail and healthcare includes time as president, CEO and chairman of Rite Aid — a position he came to after a long career at the company in various roles. Before joining Rite Aid, he was CEO of Pathmark Stores and held leadership roles at several other grocery and retail companies. Standley also has previously served as chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
“John’s leadership experience and strong understanding of our industry and the U.S. healthcare markets will allow him to hit the ground running, drive our transformation and fulfill our purpose to help people lead healthier and happier lives across America,” said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “Walgreens’ essential role in the healthcare delivery system and in the lives of millions of Americans has never been more important as we continue to work our way through the pandemic together. I’m confident John will build on and grow our momentum at Walgreens, and help us compete and win even more in the marketplace.”
In his new role, Standley will report to Gourlay, who will continue in his role as WBA co-COO, overseeing the strategic direction and coordination of the company’s U.S. operations. The company noted that Standley’s appointment would help deliver on its key strategic priorities: creating neighborhood health destinations, driving cost transformation, accelerating digitalization and restructuring Walgreens’ retail offering.
“I’m very excited to join the team and lead the iconic Walgreens brand,” said Standley. “I’m looking forward to accelerating execution of the strategic vision for the future of Walgreens. My top priorities will be meeting and exceeding the needs of our customers, patients, team members and the communities we serve during these challenging times, and ensuring that Walgreens fulfills its full potential as one of America’s most admired and trusted companies.”