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People on the move … Aug 31

Important personnel changes you should know.
Nigel F. Maynard
Editorial Director
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Drug Store News has rounded up all the retail pharmacy comings and goings to help keep you informed. Here are this week’s announcements.


Johnson & Johnson appoints Larry Merlo as non-executive chair of new consumer health company

Johnson & Johnson has announced that Larry Merlo will be the non-executive chair designate for the New Consumer Health Company’s Board of Directors. Merlo previously served as president and CEO of CVS Health and brings over 30 years of health leadership to the board for the planned new company, J&J said.

As announced in November 2021, the planned separation would create two global entities – the new Johnson & Johnson and the New Consumer Health Company. J&J said each company will be better positioned to deliver improved health outcomes for patients and consumers through innovation, pursue more targeted business strategies and accelerate growth.

Merlo will formally assume the role as non-executive chair upon completion of the planned separation, expected to occur in 2023 subject to legal requirements including consultation with works councils and employee representatives.

“On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to welcome Larry as chair designate of the planned New Consumer Health Company,” Alex Gorsky, executive chairman of Johnson & Johnson said. “A purpose-driven leader, Larry’s experience in the fast-paced health retail sector will be a strong asset to the leadership team as they unlock value and deliver for consumers as a standalone company.”

“It is an exciting time for the business and the industry at large,” said Larry Merlo, chair designate for the planned New Consumer Health Company. “With an iconic portfolio of consumer health brands, legacy of scientific rigor, category-creating innovation, and a digital-first mindset, there is no doubt that the planned New Consumer Health Company will be an industry force. I look forward to being part of this journey with Thibaut and the leadership team and making a positive impact on the health and wellness of over one billion people around the world that rely on these products every day.”


Ascend Laboratories adds Beth Hamilton to account executive team

Ascend Laboratories has announced that Beth Hamilton will become part of its account executive team as of August 22.  Beth comes to Ascend with a long tenure in the generics industry.

With a background at companies such as Apotex and Mayne, Beth will orient herself into Ascend quickly and was formally introduced as part of the company’s team at this week's NACDS TSE event in Boston, the company said.  

Beth will assume the management of specific accounts and will complement Ascend's team of account executives that include Schuyler Van Winkle, Kevin Anderson and Lynette Piers.


The Hershey Company Names Marlene Creighton Global Chief Sales Officer

The Hershey Company has announced that Marlene Creighton has been named global chief sales officer, effective September 5. After 26 years with Hershey, Phil Stanley, currently serving in this role, will transition out of the company to pursue his next opportunity following a very successful sales career at Hershey, the company said.

"In her four years at Hershey, Marlene has led incremental growth with our retail partners and is spearheading our commercial strategy as part of our company’s Snacking Powerhouse vision," said Michele Buck, The Hershey Company President and CEO. "Her energy and passion for building diverse and inclusive teams, developing people and driving new capabilities are a perfect match for our growth ambition and employee experience. I want to thank Phil for the legacy he has built here at Hershey to set us up for success in the future.”

Hershey said Marlene brings more than 20 years of CPG experience working with P&G and Unilever. Throughout her career, she has a track record of building winning partnerships inside and outside of the company with retail partners and community organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club and Champion for Kids, the company added.

alethia jackson headhsot

Walgreens Boots Alliance names Alethia Jackson senior vice president, ESG and chief DEI officer

Walgreens Boots Alliance recently announced that Alethia Jackson has been named senior vice president for environmental, social and governance and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for the U.S.

Jackson most recently served as vice president, federal government relations for Walgreens, and will assume her new role on Oct. 1. She will report to Holly May, executive vice president and global chief human resources officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance.

“Alethia is a very well-respected leader and I look forward to her advancing our DEI and environmental sustainability initiatives, which are core to our purpose of creating more joyful lives through better health,” May said. “As evidenced by her leadership in developing our COVID-19 vaccine equity initiatives, Alethia understands the urgency behind health equity, as well as the impact carbon emission reductions, product sustainability and recycling can have on our planet as well as our overall health.”

In her new role, Jackson will lead the company’s U.S. ESG and DEI strategy, including environmental and product sustainability, community giving, supplier diversity, the company’s Leadership Accountability Model and more. She will also counsel leadership and connect with team members on ESG matters.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Jackson received a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law and a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. Jackson said: “Walgreens Boots Alliance is uniquely positioned to continue expanding and advancing our DEI initiatives and making an impact across the pillars of our ESG strategy -- healthy communities, healthy and inclusive workplace, healthy planet and sustainable marketplace. I am proud to lead this critical work for the company.”