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Walgreens Names Former McDonald's CEO Skinner As Chairman

Drugstore chain Walgreen Co. (WAG) on Thursday named James Skinner, former chief executive officer of fast food giant McDonald's Corp. (MCD), as the new non-executive chairman of the company's board of directors. Skinner has been a board member of Walgreens since 2005. Skinner succeeds Al McNally, who has served on the Walgreens board since 1999 and as non-executive chairman since 2009. McNally will continue to serve on Walgreens board.

Bill Foote, Walgreens board director and chairman of the nominating and governance committee said, "As Walgreens moves forward with its strategy to become a U.S. and world leader in pharmacy-led health and wellbeing, Jim Skinner's long experience on the Walgreens board, and decades of global success with McDonalds in expanding to Europe and emerging markets, make him an exceptional choice to lead our board into the future on behalf of shareholders and stakeholders." Skinner, aged 67, was one of the three architects of McDonald's worldwide revitalization plan launched in 2003. As McDonald's CEO, he led the world's largest food service company with more than 33,000 restaurants in 119 countries. He served the company for 41 years and as CEO since November 2004.

Prior to becoming CEO, Skinner served in a variety of other leadership positions at McDonalds, both U.S. and globally. He retired as CEO of McDonalds in June 2012. In addition to Walgreens, Skinner serves on the board of directors of Illinois Tool Works, Inc. (ITW).

The outgoing Walgreens chairman McNally has served as the board's first lead director, beginning in January 2008. He subsequently served as chairman and acting CEO, and as non-executive chairman since 2009. He previously served as CEO of Harris Bank from 1993 to 2002 and chairman of the board of Harris Financial Corporation from 1998 to 2006.

Greg Wasson, President and CEO of Walgreens said, "Al's leadership on Walgreens board has helped to move this company and our iconic brand through an historic transformation and into a new century of service, success and growth potential."

Wasson added, "Jim Skinner's long and successful record in retail and customer experience, both across the nation and around the world, will be enormously helpful at a time when Walgreens is launching with Alliance Boots the first global pharmacy-led health and wellbeing enterprise."

Last Thursday, Walgreens said it agreed to buy USA Drug Pharmacy chain from Stephen LaFrance Holdings, Inc. and members of the LaFrance family for $438 million.

In mid-June, Walgreens reported a lower third-quarter profit, negatively impacted by its exit from Express Scripts network and costs related to the transaction with pharmacy-led health and beauty group Alliance Boots GmbH. At that time, Walgreens also said it will invest about $6.7 billion in cash and stock for a 45 percent equity ownership stake in Alliance Boots. The company will have the option to proceed to a full combination by acquiring the remaining 55 percent stake in approximately three years' time.

In Thursday's regular session, WAG is trading at $29.95, up $0.01 or 0.03 percent on a volume of 1.47 million shares.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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