Roz Brewer Out As Walgreens CEO As Company Leans Into Healthcare
Walgreens’ CEO Roz Brewer is stepping down as the company seeks to grow more as a healthcare company than a pharmacy company. Brewer held the position since 2021 as it navigated being a drugstore amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The news was confirmed on Sept. 1 by CNBC, with the company wanting to focus less on its retail portfolio, in which Brewer had more experience. With her work background leading Walmart and Starbucks, Brewer took on the role just as Walgreens was moving directions.
Walgreens is another big-name pharmacy that is phasing out traditional drug store offerings, as CVS Health is also enacting a healthcare-centric strategy as it evolves. Both pharmaceutical chains want to incorporate more healthcare providers in their locations.
While Brewer maintained Walgreens as the pandemic raged on, her work specialties were no longer aligned with the goals the company wished to pursue. Hence, according to reports, her role in the company is no longer feasible.
However, Brewer’s impact on Walgreens will not be forgotten, as the former executive prioritized the drugstore’s plan to increase vaccine equity as COVID-19 spread globally.
“All of this must come as a disappointment to Ms. Brewer, but it also means that a different sort of experience is needed to lead the business. It is notable that the interim CEO, Ginger Graham, has a much deeper background in the healthcare and pharma industries,” shared Neil Saunders, a retail analyst and GlobalData managing director, in a statement.
In the wake of her removal, Brewer has also stepped down from the board but released a statement following the announcement of her transition out of the company.
“I am confident that WBA is on track to be a leading consumer-centric healthcare company, serving thousands of communities across the country, especially those that need access to healthcare the most,” shared the former CEO.