Standley Succeeds Ashworth as Walgreens President

Tim Binder
Executive Editor
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Walgreens Boots Alliance has appointed John Standley as president of Walgreens, charging the former Rite Aid chief executive with leading all of Walgreens’ operations. Standley will have responsibility for the development, growth and management of the business.

Reporting to Walgreens Boots Alliance co-chief operating officer Alex Gourlay, Standley is tasked with delivering on the drugstore chain's four key strategic priorities: creating neighborhood health destinations, driving cost transformation, accelerating digitalization and restructuring Walgreens' retail offering. Gourlay had filled the role of president of Walgreens since Richard Ashworth’s departure at the end of May.

“[Standley'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,” Stefano Pessina, Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice chairman and chief executive officer, said in a media release. “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 [Standley] will build on and grow our momentum at Walgreens, and help us compete and win even more in the marketplace.”

Standley has extensive experience in pharmacy, retail and healthcare. He previously served as president, ceo and chairman of Rite Aid Corp. after a long career with the company in various leadership roles. Prior to Rite Aid Corp., he was the ceo of Pathmark Stores Inc.. Standley is also a former chair of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

“I’m very excited to join the team and lead the iconic Walgreens brand,” Standley said in the release. “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.”