Home Investing Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer steps down after more than two years in the role

Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer steps down after more than two years in the role


, the company said in a statement Monday. Brewer, who became the first Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company when she was named to lead the massive drugstore chain in 2019, is departing to become the chief operating officer of Starbucks, where she has served on the board of directors since 2018.

Brewer said in the statement that her role leading the Walgreens Enterprises and Transformational Organization (WETO) unit had “made an undeniable impact on the company and our stakeholders. She said the decision to step down had “not been an easy one.”

Walgreens said that Executive Vice President of Retail Operations Richard Ashworth would succeed Brewer on an interim basis while a selection process for the role was conducted externally.

Brewer’s departure follows Walgreens’ move to a cost-cutting mode amid a challenging retail environment, which included closing several hundred stores. Brewer had spearheaded several initiatives so that the company could remain competitive, including exploring a new membership program, increasing operational efficiencies, and expanding digital capabilities.

Brewer also made major strides in the area of diversity and inclusion during her tenure, launching a comprehensive strategy to foster a companywide culture of inclusion. Under her leadership, the company made several commitments, including plans to double the number of Black-owned and operated stores by 2023.

Brewer’s departure comes shortly after Walgreens reported robust first-quarter fiscal 2021 results, with net income up 6.1% thanks in part to cost-cutting initiatives undertaken under Brewer’s leadership.

Brewer said she was looking forward to her new role at Starbucks. “I am confident that Walgreens will continue to move forward on the path to success I have laid out for the company,” she said.

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