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Walgreens appoints 3 executives

Walgreens' retail products and customer leadership team has three new executives.

Walgreens is welcoming three key executive leaders.

Linh Peters was appointed senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Luke Rauch was named senior vice president and chief merchandising officer; and Bala Visalatha is taking over as senior vice president and chief product officer.

“I am thrilled to have Linh, Luke and Bala join the Walgreens retail products and customer leadership team, and I’m confident that their collective decades of retail expertise and deep involvement with launching new customer experiences will accelerate growth in our company,” said Tracey Brown, president of retail products and chief customer officer for Walgreens. “As strong innovators in their own right, each have an excellent track record when it comes to successfully identifying white spaces across different customer touchpoints and tracking evolving consumer trends, which will be instrumental as we transform our business.”

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linh peters
Linh Peters, senior vice president and chief marketing officer

As the chief marketing officer, Peters will oversee the vision, strategic direction and performance of Walgreens marketing activities, including marketing collaboration, brand design, brand positioning and marketing plan execution.

The company noted that Peters is a modern marketing leader whose foundation in loyalty provides her both a strong data orientation and an ability to build brands based on a deep understanding of consumer needs.

Most recently, Peters was global chief marketing officer at Calvin Klein. She brings over 20 years of experience with some of the world’s biggest consumer brands such as Starbucks, Target and Ulta Beauty, with deep experience in building effective consumer engagement and loyalty on a global scale.

“Walgreens has an incredible opportunity to help millions of customers and patients transform their lives,” Peters said. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked collaboratively and cross-functionally to bring a laser focus on the customer experience to everything we do and I look forward to building upon the great momentum we’ve created over the past several years.”

[Read more: Kenneth 'Wayne' Orvis to depart Walgreens]

luke rauch
Luke Rauch, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer

Rauch will assume the chief merchandising officer role to be responsible for the vision, leadership, strategic direction and performance of all Walgreens merchandising activities.

Throughout his career, Rauch has gained a reputation as a highly strategic leader who consistently delivers results with the customer in mind, the company said.

Rauch most recently served as chief of staff to Roz Brewer, CEO, vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance. Prior to that, he was group vice president, owned brands and customer experience for Walgreens. In this role, Rauch led the owned brands strategy in the U.S. and was instrumental in defining Walgreens retail customer experience. Rauch’s previous Walgreens leadership roles include vice president, commercial strategy and senior director, insights. Prior to joining Walgreens, Rauch worked for Deloitte Consulting in its strategy practice.

“I am honored to rejoin the Walgreens merchandising organization and look forward to working with the team as we continue to fulfill our purpose of more joyful lives through better health,” Rauch said. “Walgreens plays such a critical role in communities, and our consumer offer will continue to be pivotal to the company’s overall transformation. I am committed to building on the team’s tremendous momentum, while looking for new ways to best serve our customers and patients.”

[Read more: Retailer of the Year 2021: Walgreens seizes its omnichannel opportunity

Bala Visalatha
Bala Visalatha, senior vice president and chief product officer

Visalatha is joining Walgreens in a newly created role of chief product officer, where he will lead the execution of Walgreens customer product strategy and development, along with user experience. In this role, Visalatha will look across product lines and functions to ensure all product solutions are aligned to the customer strategy. Visalatha's organization will work cross-functionally, rooted in research, analysis and in-depth knowledge of the entire customer product lifecycle within the portfolio.

With extensive expertise in retail, product management, loyalty programs, digital and omnichannel strategies, Visalatha is a proven leader with a deep understanding of customers, the company said.

Most recently, Visalatha was vice president of e-commerce at Walmart U.S., where he was instrumental in launching the new Walmart app and website, creating a unified omnichannel experience for customers. He brings more than 15 years of experience in leading and building products to drive transformation with some of the world’s largest consumer brands like Walmart, Sam’s Club and American Express.

“Walgreens plays such a pivotal role in communities nationwide and it’s exciting to join at a time in which the business is rapidly evolving and transforming,” Visalatha said. “I look forward to leveraging data and technology to evolve and redefine the customer experience at Walgreens alongside the highly talented team across the country.”

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