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Gleeson to retire from Walgreens


DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens today reported that John Gleeson, senior vp and chief strategy officer, is retiring on Feb. 29 after more than 45 years with the company. Robert Zimmerman, vp of corporate development, will lead the strategy group. Zimmerman has 30 years of Walgreens experience and has held leadership roles in planning, strategy and administration, including 16 years at Walgreens Health Services, the company’s managed care division.

John was an idea guy throughout his career, said Walgreens chairman and ceo Jeffrey Rein. He conceptualized the freestanding store concept, which Walgreens pioneered and has been pivotal to our growth since the early 1990s. He also headed our Strategic Inventory Management System project, which has saved billions of dollars in inventory investment. Most recently, John has led the work on our health care service initiatives. All of us at Walgreens thank him for his countless contributions and wish him a productive and enjoyable retirement. 

Gleeson started in the stores as a stock clerk in 1962 and came to the corporate office as an analyst in the results department after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1969. He later served as divisional vp of marketing systems and services and vp of corporate strategy and treasurer. He was named to his current position in 2007.

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