Walgreens picks former Rite Aid CEO to become next president

Walgreens is adding the former leader of rival drugstore chain Rite Aid to its executive team.

The company said that John Standley will join Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. as president, effective immediately.

The move comes a month after Walgreens announced that CEO Stefano Pessina will step down and become executive chairman once the drugstore chain finds a replacement for him. The company’s announcement today does not indicate whether Standley will be considered for the bigger role.

A Walgreens spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Standley joins Walgreens more than year after Rite Aid named former insurance executive Heyward Donigan to replace him as CEO. Standley had served as CEO of Camp Hill, Penn.-based Rite Aid Corp. since 2010.

The company struggled with losses toward the end of his tenure. Its board had to approve a reverse stock split in early 2019 to lift plummeting share prices and keep the shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Three years ago, Walgreens ended a takeover bid of Rite Aid after the potential deal drew resistance from U.S. regulators. Walgreens instead agreed to buy a couple thousand stores from its much smaller competitor.

Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. runs more than 18,750 stores globally.

Shares of Walgreens slipped 39 cents to $38.37 after markets opened today.