Richard Ashworth, who started his career at Walgreens as a service clerk, was named president of the nation's second-largest pharmacy chain, Deerfield-based parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance announced Thursday.
Ashworth, who had been Walgreens' president of operations, will be responsible for the chain's operations and strategies, as well as have full responsibility for the leadership, development and management of the business.
He starts his new post in April and will report to Walgreens Boots Alliance Co-Chief Operating Officer Alex Gourlay. Gourlay had been Walgreens president before Ashworth's appointment,
Ashworth started his Walgreens career as a service clerk in 1992, and has held a variety of leadership positions during his 28-year tenure with the company, overseeing pharmacy, health care commercial, retail and other segments. He holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree as well as his master's degree in business administration.
"Richard is a strong leader who grew up with the Walgreens brand and who has a great appreciation for its storied heritage. He truly understands our customers and is passionate about the role we play in their daily lives," said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. Gourlay, who has served as Walgreens president since 2014, will be responsible for oversight of the Walgreens and Boots businesses, execution and transformation, and will continue to oversee global operations along with Co-Chief Operating Officer, Ornella Barra. Gourlay reports to Pessina.
Ashworth also serves as vice chairman on the board of directors of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and will assume that board's chairmanship in April.
Walgreen Boost Alliance has more than 18,750 stores in 25 countries that operate under the Walgreens and Boots brands. The company employees more than 440,000 people globally. Walgreens operates more than 9,000 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.