people move hero

People on the move … Feb. 10

Important personnel changes you should know this week about Walmart, The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and more.
Nigel F. Maynard
Editorial Director

Drug Store News has rounded up all the retail pharmacy comings and goings to help keep you informed. Here are this week’s announcements.


Walmart names Judy Werthauser as executive vice president, chief people officer for its U.S. business

Walmart has named Judy Werthauser as its new executive vice president, chief people officer for its U.S. business.

Former Five Below, Target and Domino’s executive, Werthauser will support associates in the retailer’s more than 10,500 stores, distribution centers, fulfillment centers and head office.

“No other company impacts so many lives in such a tangible way,” Werthauser wrote on Linkedin. “And no other company creates more opportunities. With around 1.7 million associates across the country, Walmart has an unmatched ability to help both customers and associates live better. I am excited to work alongside the world-class Walmart U.S. team as they bring the purpose of building a better world — helping people live better and renewing the planet while building thriving, resilient communities — to life.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America names Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan, M.D., to board chair

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has announced that Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan, M.D., has assumed the role of chair of the PhRMA board of directors.

In addition, Daniel O'Day of Gilead Sciences and Albert Bourla of Pfizer also assumed new leadership positions on the PhRMA board.

“Science and technology are advancing at an unprecedented pace, leading to significant breakthroughs in medicine. Pushing the cutting edge through R&D, the biopharmaceutical industry brings forward revolutionary treatments and cures, and our association and industry work to ensure patients have access to the medicines they need to live longer, healthier lives,” said Dr. Narasimhan. “It’s in the best interest of patients, health systems, and society at large for government to foster a robust innovation ecosystem through policies that support—rather than discourage—the development of better treatment options and widespread patient access. I’m eager to help lead the association at this pivotal moment for patients and our industry.”

Dr. Narasimhan has been CEO of Novartis since 2018, leading the company in delivering medicines that alleviate some of society’s greatest disease burdens through novel access approaches and technology leadership in R&D, PhRMA said.  Since joining Novartis in 2005, Narasimhan has held a range of leadership roles, including Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, and Global Head of Development for Novartis Vaccines.

“The new treatments for patients coming out of labs today would have been considered science fiction just a decade ago. But the policy environment threatens this progress, adding to the waiting and uncertainty facing patients hoping for treatments and cures,” said PhRMA president and CEO Stephen J. Ubl. “From his work as a physician addressing global public health issues to his time as a researcher to his vast business experience, Vas is well-positioned for the job of board chair. I look forward to working closely with him and our board as we continue pushing for policies that address the broader affordability challenges patients face while protecting the pipeline of potentially game-changing medicines.


Gelson’s promotes John Bagan to president and CEO

Southern California supermarket and pharmacy brand Gelson's has promoted John Bagan to president and CEO following the departure of Rob McDougall, who has retired from Gelson's after 15 years with the company.

As president and CEO, Bagan will assume greater responsibility for the company's overall vision, business and growth strategy, as well as managing relationships with the Board of Directors and parent company Pan Pacific International Holdings.

Bagan joined Gelson's as chief merchandising officer in 2016 following high-level merchandising and supply chain roles at Guitar Center, Albertson's and Target. He began his career as a business analyst for Morgan Stanley before receiving his MBA in Marketing from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.


Flashfood appoints grocery industry veteran Nicholas Nertram as president and COO

Philadelphia-based Flashfood has tapped former president of The Giant Company, Nicholas Bertram, to be its new president and chief operating officer.

"Nick brings an unprecedented level of first-hand leadership experience with some of the biggest names in the retail sector," said Flashfood founder and CEO, Josh Domingues. "His vision and successes around sustainable retailing align perfectly with our company's mission to reduce food that is wasted throughout the retail sector. Nick has seen how the level of waste experienced by grocers represents billions of dollars in lost revenue and understands the massive impact this also has on our planet. More importantly, he understands how this food could have helped families which is a shared passion he brings to Flashfood that will help fuel our next phase of growth."

A digital marketplace that connects consumers to heavily discounted food nearing its best-by date, Flashfood said Bertram's appointment comes on the heels of a historic year for the company. The company has successfully diverted more than 65 million pounds of food from landfills–”a milestone achieved following the company's rapid expansion to more than 1,550 grocery stores across North America,” the brand added.

Bertram joins the company with more than 20 years of experience in the retail industry where he has dedicated his career to achieving sustainability, innovation and growth for companies including Jewel-Osco, Walmart and most recently as president of The Giant Co,, an Ahold Delhaize brand, the company said.

"I have never been more excited about the collective impact the food industry, sustainability-minded investors and technology companies like Flashfood can have on our future," said Bertram. "Josh and the rest of the board of directors have given me an amazing opportunity to join at this stage, with such a talented team and unique product. Together with its retail partners, Flashfood is already making huge inroads in reducing food waste while helping consumers save money – and now is the right time to accelerate this bold work."

Robert G. Miller has joined the board of Save Mart Co.

The Save Mart Companies, a Kingswood Capital Management portfolio company, recently announced the appointment of former Rite Aid and Albertsons executive, Robert G. Miller ("Bob"), to its board of directors.

"Bob's expertise and passion for the grocery industry is legendary along with his unparalleled track record of being a growth-focused leader," said Shane Sampson, executive chairman of the board, The Save Mart Companies. "For decades, Bob has built great companies by always being people and community focused as well as mentoring countless individuals including myself, and I am excited to once again collaborate with him and further advance the company's success together."

Miller said: "I am incredibly grateful and honored to join The Save Mart Companies board of directors at a time when there is so much opportunity in the grocery industry for growth. This company and its people exemplify the hard-working and passionate spirit of running great stores and serving their communities."

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