Walgreens chief Stefano Pessina to face down

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Stefano Pessina, the Italian-born billionaire who engineered a collection of offers to kind Walgreens Boots Alliance, is standing apart as chief government and can take a much less hands-on position on the US-listed pharmacy chain.

The 79-year-old has determined to step down from the place he has held for 5 years, and administrators will start a seek for a brand new chief government, the corporate mentioned on Monday.

Mr Pessina will exchange Jim Skinner as government chairman, who will stay on the board to facilitate a transition. No timeline was given for the adjustments.

Mr Pessina took cost of WBA in January 2015, shortly after the mix of Alliance Boots and Walgreens. The deal created a powerhouse in international healthcare retail. In the present day the group employs greater than 440,000 folks and has greater than 18,750 shops.

His departure from the position follows a interval of underperformance. Shares in WBA have misplaced a 3rd of their worth this 12 months, giving it a market capitalisation of $34bn. This month the group, based mostly in Illinois, mentioned it will take a $2bn impairment cost towards its UK chain Boots, which it acquired in levels from non-public fairness group KKR. About 4,000 jobs are to go as a part of a restructuring of the division.

Mr Pessina led a collection of offers to create a pharmacy empire, together with a mix of two French corporations to kind Alliance Santé and subsequent mergers with Britain’s Unichem and Boots.

He took Alliance Boots non-public in a 2007 leveraged buyout together with non-public fairness group KKR, which was the primary non-public equity-backed takeover of a FTSE 100 firm. Alliance Boots offered itself to Walgreens of the US in a two-part deal, after which Mr Pessina turned chief government.

Mr Pessina mentioned in a press release: “I look ahead to persevering with to serve the corporate as government chairman, and to serving to to make sure the success of the brand new chief government officer in each manner doable.”

Shares in WBA fell 2.three per cent in early New York buying and selling.

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