Walmart vet to head finance at Walgreens

Marianne Wilson
Marianne Wilson profile picture
Walgreens Boots Alliance made three new executive appointments.

Two former Walmart executives have joined Walgreens, the U.S. segment of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The appointments come as CEO Roz Brewer continues to put her stamp on the chain. Brewer, the former COO of Starbucks, took the reins of Walgreens Boots Alliance in March. 

The drug store company appointed Jeff Gruener as senior VP and CFO, effective Aug. 30. He will help to create and execute key strategies to advance business priorities, along with the visioning, leadership and strategic direction related to financial matters for Walgreens.

Most recently, Gruener was with Walmart, where he served in a number of roles of increasing responsibility during his 12 years with the retailer, including senior VP of finance and strategy. He also served as senior VP of merchandising operations, VP of finance for Sam’s Club and VP of global procurement.

Gruener was also directly involved with Walmart’s healthcare offerings for a time period during his tenure, with financial oversight of health and wellness, including pharmacy. Prior to Walmart, he worked at Sears Holdings Corporation, serving in a variety of business development, strategy and marketing roles.

“I have a deep appreciation for today’s dynamic retail environment and the Walgreens brand, and look forward to joining an organization and leadership team that is dedicated and focused on transforming the healthcare landscape,” Gruener said. “I’m also excited about the opportunity to develop and advance strategic initiatives that can drive sustained growth for the company, while creating even greater value for shareholders and Walgreens customers.”

In other appointments, Tracey Brown was named president of retail products and chief customer officer for Walgreens, a newly created position.

Most recently, Brown has served as CEO for the American Diabetes Association since 2018, where she led a healthcare transformation and financial turnaround of ADA’s business. Prior to the ADA, Brown was senior VP, operations and chief experience officer for Walmart/Sam’s Club. She also served as chief member and marketing officer, overseeing membership operations, data and analytics, omnichannel integration, personalization, and other initiatives, which were instrumental in driving more than $2 billion in sales growth during her tenure, Walgreens said.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to work for a brand with such a strong heritage and history, deeply rooted in communities, and I’m excited to work with the team to find new and different ways to differentiate the customer experience,” Brown said. “I’m especially inspired to make a positive impact on the daily lives of the millions of customers that Walgreens serves each day – as well as improving the health and well-being of all people across the country.

In addition, Danielle Gray was appointed executive VP and global chief legal officer for WBA. She joins from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, where she has served as senior VP, chief legal and administrative officer and corporate secretary.