By the time Rite Aid’s board of directors named Heyward Donigan the company’s president and CEO last August, the search had gone on for five months. Once appointed, Donigan immediately rolled up her sleeves and got to work — and little more than a year later, the results are starting to show.
“What you do is you slow down to go fast,” she said. “Slow down and look at the data and use the data to guide you. Once you have spent time to gather that data and understand those stats, you can go so fast and change things quickly.”
She noted that having executives in place that are at the top of their fields — in a strategy that was slightly ahead of the COVID-induced remote work curve, the company has taken a hiring approach that focuses on the best hires regardless of geography — has been a boon.
“I’m all about the team,” she said. “To me, nothing matters without the people, because without them, nothing gets done and I’m really excited to have a wonderful mix of tenured Rite Aid executives and new outside talent.” She noted that CFO Matt Schroeder and chief human resources officer Jessica Kazmaier have both been with the company nearly 20 years, and chief pharmacy officer Jocelyn Konrad has been with the company for 13 years, since Rite Aid acquired Brooks Eckerd.