Ashworth departing Walgreens to lead Tivity Health

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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Richard Ashworth

Richard Ashworth is leaving Walgreens after nearly 30 years at the company in various positions. He leaves his position as president of Walgreens to become president and CEO of Tivity Health, a provider of fitness, nutrition and social engagement solutions, effective June 1. He also will sit on the company’s board of directors. 

Ashworth, who also was named chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores in April, has been with Walgreens since 1992 in various positions. His work has included developing the healthcare strategy for Walgreens’ partnership with Alliance Boots before it was acquired. From 2014 to 2017 he was president of pharmacy and retail operations for Walgreens and served as president of operations from November 2017 through January 2020, when he was named president of Walgreens.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Ashworth has been a public face for the company, even going on "Good Morning America" to discuss Walgreens' testing efforts. 

A Walgreens spokesperson said that Walgreens Boots Alliance co-COO Alex Gourlay would be taking over leadership of Walgreens. Gourlay had been serving in the dual role until Ashworth was appointed Walgreens president. 

"We are excited to bring someone with Richard's extensive background in health and wellness to Tivity Health. Richard has significant experience navigating a rapidly changing healthcare landscape while serving a portfolio of large customers and individual consumers in the intensely competitive retail realm," said Anthony Sanfilippo, chairman of the Board of Directors. "We conducted a thorough search and we believe Richard is the right person to lead the Tivity Health team. Richard will leverage our core capabilities in healthcare and consumer-focused nutrition programs to deliver market-leading solutions that focus on profitable revenue growth. With a disciplined approach to managing the business, we are confident Richard will move the Company forward as a leading provider of healthy lifestyle solutions that improve health and lower healthcare costs."

Among Tivity Health’s brands of are SilverSneakers, Nutrisystem, Prime Fitness, Wisely Well, South Beach Diet and WholeHealth Living. The company’s focus broadly is on addressing social determinants of health, including improving health outcomes and changing the narrative about food insecurity, inactivity, social isolation and loneliness. 

"Tivity Health is a leader in helping adults adopt healthier behavior through physical activity, nutrition and weight loss, and social engagement solutions,” Ashworth said. “I am excited to partner with our Medicare Advantage clients who invest in the health and well-being of millions of beneficiaries. I look forward to building on the Company's 30-year history and its deep relationships with health plan clients and employers, while charting a course for growth to build Tivity Health's trusted brands to deliver even greater value to our shareholders, consumers, clients, partners, and colleagues."