- Colin Nelson has joined Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) as the company's first global chief supply chain officer. Nelson started his position in February, according to his LinkedIn page, and previously was head of industrial operations at Bunge Global.
- Nelson will be in charge of end-to-end supply chain with the exception of "procurement of goods-not-for-resale," a spokesperson told sister publication Supply Chain Dive in an email.
- The company added four other new executives that were announced on the company's earnings call earlier this month. "We are acting quickly to address select areas of operational weakness with a number of senior appointments, choosing new talent with new ideas and new approaches to drive more rapid change in a number of areas of our business," Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina said on the earnings call before announcing the new positions.
"We are building a single global supply chain leadership team at WBA and partnering closely with innovation," the company spokesperson said.
Walgreens is working to digitize its supply chain and provide more delivery options to its customers. It's also working on buy-online, pick up in-store pilots with Kroger. And Walgreens launched next-day prescription delivery in a partnership with FedEx.
Walgreens is not alone in its creation of a supply chain position in the C-suite. Macy's announced its first-ever chief supply chain officer earlier this year.
The creation of such roles demonstrates companies are increasingly viewing the supply chain as not just an expense, but a part of the business that, when managed properly, can lead to greater productivity and profit.
"The leadership appointments have been made to further accelerate the global transformation of pharmacy and to reimagine retail experiences for its customers, patients and team members worldwide," the spokesperson said. "Colin Nelson will lead [Walgreens'] global supply chain, improve efficiencies and build on the current network to enhance customer satisfaction as the company continues to build its digital presence."
The other new positions include a new Global Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, Global Chief Marketing Officer and Global Chief Commercial Officer. There will also be a new Chief Digital Officer who will focus on the integration of data and artificial intelligence into the business and furthering the company's omnichannel efforts. These are all new positions at Walgreens with the exception of the accounting role.