Walgreens Suffers $5.9B Loss Post-Exit of Black Executive Roz Brewer

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Walgreens) revealed a whopping $5.9 billion loss at the end of the second quarter of its fiscal year 2024, following the resignation of Roz Brewer, one of the world’s most powerful Black CEOs. The retail giant’s recent financial report indicated a loss, highlighting the hurdles it faces.

Despite exceeding revenue projections for the fiscal second quarter, Walgreens had a significant fall, reporting a net loss of $5.9 billion, or $6.85 per share, compared to a net income of $703 million, or 81 cents per share, in the same period previous year. The unanticipated loss was principally caused by a $5.8 billion after-tax non-cash impairment charge relating to VillageMD goodwill, an investment made during Brewer’s tenure.

Walgreens Boots Alliance WBA US, led by previous CEO Roz Brewer, invested more than $6 billion in VillageMD, a Chicago-based healthcare firm. The goal was to grow beyond standard pharmacy operations.

However, VillageMD encountered obstacles, necessitating a strategic rethinking. The corporation announced the closure of more than 60 clinics, not 160, as part of a transition to denser locations to improve patient care efficiency.

Brewer’s exit in September 2023 represented a watershed moment for Walgreens. Tim Wentworth, the company’s new CEO, took over in October 2023. Wentworth is focused on recovering profitability through cost-cutting efforts and portfolio assessments.

In a recent financial results statement, Wentworth expressed cautious optimism. He cited positive adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) in the US healthcare sector during the first quarter. Walgreens remains dedicated to cost savings, with a goal of $1 billion by fiscal 2024 through actions such as layoffs, store closures, and supply chain optimization.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), based in Deerfield, Illinois, is a global leader in integrated healthcare, pharmacy, and retail. In addition to pharmaceutical manufacture and distribution, the corporation operates well-known pharmacy chains such as Walgreens in the United States and Boots in the United Kingdom.

Roz Brewer’s retirement in September 2023 signaled the end of an era for Walgreens Boots Alliance. Brewer, formerly regarded as the “world’s highest-ranking Black CEO,” became the first Black woman to run an S&P 500 corporation when she took over in March 2021. Throughout her tenure, she was recognized for her leadership, innovation, and strong dedication to diversity and inclusion.



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