Wasson to become Walgreens CEO

January 27, 2009

Gregory D. Wasson has been appointed as Walgreens Chief Executive Officer and a director of the company effective Feb. 1, the company recently announced.

Gregory D. Wasson has been appointed as Walgreens chief executive officer and a director of the company effective Feb. 1, the company recently announced. Alan G. McNally, chairman and acting CEO since October 2008, will remain chairman of the Walgreens board.

Wasson will retain the position of president.

"During the past three-and-a-half months, the special committee conducted a national search to find the best person to become Walgreens' new CEO,” said William C. Foote, chair of the nominating and governance committee. “This is the first time in the company’s history that an external search has been conducted for the CEO position.”

Wasson joined Walgreens as a pharmacy intern in 1980 and advanced through executive positions over the course of his 29-year career with the company. He was named a regional vice president of Walgreens store operations in 1999, became executive vice president of Walgreens Health Services (WHS) in 2001, and was named president of WHS in 2002. He became president and COO in 2007.

In October 2008, Walgreens unveiled its strategy to improve overall performance. The company said it intends to decrease capital spending by $1 billion during the next three years and is planning for an additional $1 billion in annual cost reductions by 2011.

"It is a very exciting time for Walgreens," Wasson said. "Despite the challenges we face from a difficult retail environment, we believe in our fundamental strengths as a company – the best, most convenient community-based store network in America.”