Walgreens Shares Fall to Near 24-Year Lows After CEO Rosalind Brewer Steps Down

Key Takeaways

  • Walgreens shares fall to their lowest level since 1999 after CEO Rosalind Brewer stepped down.
  • Brewer will be replaced on an interim basis by Lead Independent Director Ginger Graham.
  • Walgreens also said it expects full-year earnings to be at the low end of its previous guidance.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) shares tumbled to levels not seen in almost a quarter century after the biggest U.S. pharmacy chain announced CEO Rosalind Brewer stepped down after less than three years at the helm.

The company indicated that Brewer and the board “mutually agreed” that she would leave as CEO and a member of the board as of August 31. However, Walgreens said she agreed to stay on to advise the company as it searches for her replacement. The board chose current Lead Independent Director Ginger Graham as interim CEO.

Brewer took the top job at Walgreens in March 2021 after being COO at Starbucks (SBUX) and CEO of Walmart’s (WMT) Sam’s Club. In a statement on LinkedIn, she wrote that she was “grateful to have had the opportunity to lead Walgreens Boots Alliance and to work alongside such talented and dedicated colleagues.” She added, “Perhaps what I’m most proud of is our work to develop a strategic pivot towards the growth of WBA into health care.”

However, the company has struggled in making the shift from a drug store operator to providing a wide range of health care options. Shares have sunk, with today’s decline sending them to their lowest level since 1999.

Along with the change in leadership, Walgreens also said it now expects its full-year earnings per share (EPS) to be at or near the low end of its previous forecast. In June, the company cut its EPS guidance to $4.00 to $4.05 from $4.45 “to reflect consumer and category conditions, lower COVID-19 contribution, and a more cautious macroeconomic forward view.”


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