Walgreens CEO talks strategy, skips buyout speculation at annual meeting

Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina told shareholders the company is focused on a cost management plan that will allow it to invest in partnerships and growth, but didn't address speculation on a deal to take the company private, Forbes reported. 

During its annual stockholders meeting Jan. 30, Mr. Pessina said Walgreens was coming off  a "very difficult year" with its pharmacies facing increasing reimbursement pressures. In response, the company is "saving to invest in growth" and forming partnerships and deals to create a "healthcare destination around a more modern pharmacy."

Walgreens executives previously said the company plans to cut more than $1.8 billion in expenses annually by 2022. It plans to use that money to simplify  operations and supply chain management as well as to "reinvent" its stores and pharmacy operations, according to Forbes.

Its cost management has allowed it to invest more than $800 million in digitization initiatives, Forbes reported. 

Mr. Pessina did not address speculation about taking Walgreens private. 

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