Walgreens taps health care veteran as CEO

Marianne Wilson
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Tim Wentworth
Tim Wentwoth has been appointed CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The former head of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits management company is taking the top job at Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The pharmacy giant named Tim Wentworth as its new chief executive officer, effective on Oct. 23. He succeeds Rosalind Brewer who stepped down in August after less than three years on the job. At the time, the company said it would search for a new CEO with "deep healthcare experience."

Most recently, Wentworth served as the founding CEO of Cigna’s health services division, Evernorth, which partners with health plans, employers and government organizations.

Before Cigna, Wentworth was CEO of Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the United States, following the company's merger with Medco Health Solutions in April 2012.He grew it into a Fortune 22 company with more than $100 billion in revenue and 26,000 employees, according to a statement by Walgreens.

Previously, Wentworth led Medco's employer and key accounts organizations for nearly 14 years, also serving as president and CEO of Accredo, Medco's specialty pharmacy.

“The WBA board has been focused on bringing in a CEO with deep healthcare experience, and we are pleased to welcome Tim Wentworth as the company’s new CEO,” said Stefano Pessina, executive chairman, WBA. “He is an accomplished and respected leader with profound expertise in the payer and pharmacy space as well as supply chain, IT and Human Resources. We are confident he is the right person to lead WBA’s next phase of growth into a customer-centric healthcare company.“

Wentworth takes the reins of Walgreens as the company finds itself facing a number of challenges, including a walkout by its pharmacists in several U.S. cities. The pharmacists are protesting heavy workloads and understaffing. 

He also arrives as Walgreens continues to focus on health care services. The company reported a mixed third-quarter with lower earnings, citing lower demand for COVID-related services, and a more cautious and value-driven consumer.  Walgreens' U.S. health segment had a loss of $113 million before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, driven by an expansion of VillageMD and fewer patient visits at Summit Health’s CityMD urgent care clinics..

“WBA has a differentiated model with the power to build on the company’s pharmacy strength and trusted brand to evolve healthcare delivery," said  Wentworth, who will also join the company’s board. "I believe in WBA’s vision to be the leading partner in reimagining local healthcare and well-being for all. I’ve spent my career working to improve the health of the patients we’ve served. I believe WBA is well-positioned to deliver more personalized, coordinated care, and achieve better outcomes at a lower cost.”

WBA employs more than 331,000 people and has a presence in nine countries through its portfolio of consumer brands: Walgreens, Boots, Duane Reade, the No7 Beauty Company, Benavides in Mexico and Ahumada in Chile. It has approximately 13,000 pharmacy locations across the U.S., Europe and Latin America. 

Additionally, WBA has a portfolio of healthcare-focused investments located in several countries, including China and the U.S.