Holland & Barrett hires former Walgreens exec Alex Gourlay to boost growth

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 9-Jan-2023

Gourlay will drive forward the health and beauty retailer’s expansion plans after its most successful Christmas trading period

Holland & Barrett (H&B) has hired Walgreens Boots Alliance’s former Executive Vice President Alex Gourlay. 

As Executive Chair, Gourlay will help the health and beauty retailer to “realise its potential” as it plans to boost growth.

He will be responsible for supporting “customers to make health and wellness a way of life for everyone at a time when health is so vitally important,” said the company.

Gourlay will replace Michael Casey who has been in the role since September 2021.

Casey will remain a Non-Executive Board Member.  

Gourlay was previously Executive Vice President at Walgreens Boots Alliance. 

During his time, he was responsible for the oversight of business, execution and transformation for the Retail Pharmacy USA Division.

Other leadership positions on his CV include CEO of the Health & Beauty Division at Alliance Boots and Managing Director of Boots UK.

Gourlay is also a qualified pharmacist.

Holland & Barrett is going through a period of strong growth momentum

Holland & Barrett is going through a period of strong growth momentum

H&B has just reported its most successful Christmas trading in the past six years.

The company’s owner, LetterOne, also completed a deal last year to buy back more than £700m of debt to shore up the company’s finances. 

It also distanced itself from Russian oligarchs within its executive team as the war in Ukraine continued. 

Gourlay is excited to get started during a time of strong growth momentum.

“[H&B] is a much-loved UK institution, playing a vital role for health and wellness on an international scale,” he said.

“The opportunity to help it through its next stage of transformation is genuinely exciting.

“Michael and the team have done a fantastic job positioning the business for a bright future.

“I thank them for that and I am fully committed to taking their work forward successfully.”

Casey commented: “I have every confidence the team will go from strength-to-strength under Alex’s proven leadership.”

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