Walgreens’ CEO Roz Brewer is stepping down as the company seeks to grow more as a health-care company than a pharmacy company. Brewer held the position since 2021 as they navigated being a drugstore in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The news was confirmed on Sept. 1 by CNBC, with the company wanting to focus less on its retail portfolio, which Brewer had more experience in. 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 offering, as CVS Health is also enacting a health-care centric strategy as it evolves its company. Both pharmaceutical chains want to incorporate more health care 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 her role in the company no longer being feasible, according to reports.
However, Brewer’s impact on Walgreens will not be forgotten, as the former executive prioritized the drug store’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 upon 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.