Rx roots and the Revco years
When he came to Rite Aid in 2004, Thompson brought his own flair for reinvention and entrepreneurialism, shaped by a multifaceted career in both small- and large-chain retail pharmacy and in start-up companies dealing in other sectors of health and wellness.
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Thompson began his career while still in high school, working for Dunaway Drugs, a family-owned chain of more than a dozen stores in suburban Atlanta, “from the age of 16 and throughout my college career in the summers and during holidays” while attending the University of Georgia. After graduation, he worked for an independent pharmacy before joining Revco D.S. in 1978, first as a store pharmacist in Atlanta, and later as a store, district and regional manager. He moved to Revco’s headquarters in Twinsburg, Ohio, in 1988, taking on management roles including director of store operations. From 1995 until the company’s sale to CVS in 1997, he served as VP of pharmacy operations.
“It was a great foundation,” said Thompson. “Revco was an excellent company.”
“Not unlike Rite Aid, Revco went through some very difficult times,” he told DSN. “We fought our way through and out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, which was a tremendous learning experience. Looking back on that, it prepared me well for many of the challenges we experienced at Rite Aid.”