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Walgreens' showcases deep talent pool with Gourlay appointment


Walgreens last week made several executive moves to boost its Daily Living business organization, chief of which was the announcement that Alex Gourlay will make the transition from chief executive of Alliance Boots' health and beauty division to EVP, president of customer experience and daily living for Walgreens. 

Gourlay will fill in the vision and leadership hole Joe Magnacca left when Magnacca departed Walgreens to take on the challenge of reinventing Radio Shack. The move showcases the kind of extended depth chart that is now enjoyed across Walgreens and Alliance Boots, and takes Walgreens' strategy of tapping the best executives to fill strategic positions to a whole new global level.  

With the announcement Bryan Pugh becomes corporate VP, U.S. merchandising program development and execution. He has a knack for identifying new categories that complement what a customer expects out of her Daily Living experience.

In addition, several of Walgreens' brightest stars will be given heightened responsibility in their respective roles as category stewards. 

Other executives who will be taking a step up in their roles within the organization include Moe Alkemade who has thus far managed Walgreens' strong private label strategy; Shannon Curtin, the guiding force behind Walgreens' upscale beauty depts; Robert Thompkins, an OTC/natural health veteran who helped engineer Walgreens' Health Guide position; Jim Jensen, who helped craft Walgreens market-centric fresh offerings; and the strategic visionary Beth Stiller, who is now responsible for category development and adjacency synergies .

And there will be fresh faces with executives like Linda Severin, who comes to Walgreens by way of Kroger, where she led the redevelopment of that company's private brand portfolio.

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