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Walgreens taps Michaels exec as CIO, increases board technology focus

Hsiao Wang
Hsiao Wang, senior VP and CIO, Walgreens Boots Alliance (Photo: Business Wire)

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is naming a new technology head and aligning its board of directors more with technology and innovation.

The drugstore giant is naming Hsiao Wang as CIO. He joins Walgreens from The Michaels Company where, as executive VP and CIO, he oversaw product development, engineering and operations for all technology functions.

Prior to Michaels, Wang spent 16 years at Walmart in an array of roles with increasing leadership responsibility in technology and IT, culminating in his role as senior VP and chief technology officer for Sam’s Club.

Wang will assume his new role on Sept. 26, and report to CEO Roz Brewer as a member of the executive leadership team. He will lead the strategy for Walgreens’ IT function and the implementation of its technology and digital innovation, with an emphasis on its digital experience for customers and patients, including technology-enabled healthcare solutions for Walgreens and Walgreens Health.

“Joining a company with such strong consumer trust and a clear vision to be the leading partner in reimagining local healthcare and wellbeing for all is a tremendous opportunity. I am excited to work with an outstanding team to lead the continued transformation of technology and digital innovation at Walgreens, as well as unlock and create consumer-centric healthcare solutions,” said Wang.

Wang succeeds Francesco Tinto, senior vice president and CIO, Walgreens. He earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In other moves, Walgreens appointed IBM global chief data officer Inderpal Bhandari to its board of directors. Bhandari has served as IBM’s global chief data officer since 2015. In this position, Bhandari is responsible for the company’s data strategy.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the board of directors of Walgreens Boots Alliance at an incredibly exciting time in its history. I believe Walgreens is uniquely positioned to offer technology-enabled healthcare solutions, which will ultimately help millions of people focus on their health. Nothing could be more important than that and I’m excited to work with this high-caliber and talented team to address some of the most challenging healthcare issues of today,” said Bhandari.

And effective immediately, the finance committee of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s board of directors has been reconstituted as the finance and technology committee, which the company says reflects the importance and significance of technology to achieving the company’s goals. As Walgreens accelerates its healthcare platform and global infrastructure, the committee will govern the strategic growth of its technology, including major customer initiatives, emerging innovations and significant trends.

“We are making tremendous progress on our strategic priorities, including transforming and aligning our core business and building our next growth engine with consumer-centric healthcare solutions. With today’s announcements, we are entering our next phase of execution and elevating our capabilities even further,” said Roz Brewer, CEO, Walgreens.

“We want to welcome Inderpal to our board and Hsiao to our Executive Leadership Team. They are both incredibly talented leaders and technologists. Together with our board’s new finance and technology committee, they will be instrumental to achieving our goals and truly differentiating Walgreens Boots Alliance in how we deliver the healthcare of the future.”

[Read more: Exclusive Q&A: Walgreens digitally streamlines healthcare access]

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail company with approximately 13,000 locations across the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

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