Walgreens investors, analysts cheer possible healthcare pick for CEO

Walgreens investors and analysts like the news that the company is close to hiring a CEO with healthcare experience, Bloomberg reported.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance rallied late last week, rising a nearly one-year high of 6.4 percent Sept. 29, after a report that the company was eyeing former Cigna and Express Scripts executive Tim Wentworth to replace Rosalind Brewer, who stepped down as CEO in August, according to the Oct. 2 story.

"We believe a CEO with a strong managed care and pharmacy benefit background would be a positive development for Walgreens and a promising step toward a potential turnaround," RBC Capital Markets analyst Ben Hendrix said in a note Oct. 1, according to the news outlet. "We believe the leadership transition presents an ideal time to level-set expectations."

In relaying Ms. Brewer's departure, Walgreens' board chair said the company would look for a "successor with deep healthcare experience to lead in today's dynamic environment." That could include someone from the hospital industry, analysts told Becker's. Walgreens has made big bets on healthcare with its huge investments in VillageMD, Summit Health and CareCentrix.

Mr. Wentworth is a "very capable executive with a good track record and reputation, and a lot of goodwill with the Street," Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut told Bloomberg, as well as "big company experience that could be useful in the turnaround process for Walgreens."

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