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Walgreens Leadership Shakeup Continues With CIO Departure

Walgreens Boots Alliance has experienced the latest shakeup in its leadership team, with Chief Information Officer (CIO) Hsiao Wang departing from the company about a year after assuming the role.

Wang had been on a leave of absence but is no longer with the drugstore chain, Bloomberg reported Monday (Oct. 2), citing an internal note by interim CEO Ginger Graham.

Reached by PYMNTS, a Walgreens spokesperson confirmed Wang’s departure.

Neal Sample, a consultant and former CIO at Northwestern Mutual, will step in to assist Graham in making decisions about new tech initiatives, according to the Bloomberg report.

This departure comes in the midst of a search for new executives at Walgreens. Then-CEO Rosalind Brewer left the company abruptly about a month ago, and then-CFO James Kehoe stepped down in July after five years with the company, the report said.

Investors have shown optimism about the possibility of a C-suite with more experience in the healthcare industry, per the report. Tim Wentworth, a former pharmacy benefits manager CEO, is being considered to take the helm as the new CEO.

Walgreens’ move toward hiring executives with healthcare expertise aligns with the company’s goal to expand its presence in that industry, according to the report. Brewer, who came to Walgreens from Starbucks, aimed to make the company a bigger player in the healthcare sector through acquisitions and expansion. However, the company’s shares lost about half their value during her tenure, and she departed Walgreens after 2½ years as CEO.

Walgreens is among the retailers that are rolling out accessible healthcare testing and treatment services in an effort to attract both patients who would typically visit a physician and those who would otherwise forego care due to limited access, PYMNTS reported in August.

When announcing on Sept. 1 that the company’s board of directors and Brewer mutually agreed that Brewer would step down as CEO and as a member of the board, Walgreens Boots Alliance Executive Chairman Stefano Pessina thanked Brewer on behalf of the entire board for leading the company “during this period of unprecedented change.”

“Our board and leadership team will intensify our focus on creating value for our customers and our shareholders while we advance the search for a successor with deep healthcare experience to lead in today’s dynamic environment,” Pessina said at the time.