DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) today announced that Kermit Crawford, president of Pharmacy, Health and Wellness, has decided to retire after 31 years in a variety of advancing roles with the company to take on new opportunities, including continuing to serve as a senior counselor to Walgreens President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Wasson. Crawford announced that he plans to join the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy, where will serve as Executive in Residence and Senior Advisor to the Dean. Crawford currently is a member of the USC School of Pharmacy’s board of councilors. He also will serve as National Chair for the American Diabetes Association’s new Ad Council campaign across the country. The association recently named him volunteer of the year in his longtime role as a member of the organization’s board for the Northern Illinois and Indiana region. His retirement from Walgreens will be effective Dec. 31, 2014, after which he will assume the role of senior counselor.
“After 31 years with Walgreens, starting as a pharmacy intern in my 20s, the time is right to retire from the company to broaden my horizons and seek new ways to serve,” Crawford said. “I love Walgreens, cherish my years and friends here and the incredibly dedicated people across the company. To me, community pharmacy has long been an unsung hero in our health care system, helping primary caregivers to provide convenient, affordable and essential health and wellness services in neighborhoods across America. I look forward to continuing to help Greg Wasson and the team to advance the role of community pharmacy in health care as I also pursue other opportunities to provide leadership in new areas.”
“Words cannot capture the magnitude of Kermit Crawford’s impact on Walgreens and our people, on America’s retail pharmacy industry and on the health and wellbeing of millions of customers and patients we have been privileged to serve over the years,” Wasson said. “Kermit has been so much more than a colleague – he has been a mentor, a friend, an inspiration, a guiding light and the architect and driver of Walgreens strategy to advance the role of community pharmacy in America. Kermit has well positioned Walgreens for the future, and I appreciate his willingness to serve as my senior counselor and continue his remarkable influence on our company and future – and I look forward to working together in our new capacity.”
“We are thrilled that Kermit, as a longtime board member and 2013 Addison B. Scoville Awardee for Outstanding Volunteer Service, will expand his role with us and serve as our National Chair for the Ad Council campaign, continuing his extraordinary effort in the fight to stop diabetes,” said Larry Hausner, chief executive officer of the American Diabetes Association. “As one of our National Service Achievement Award recipients, Kermit has already made significant contributions to our cause. His impact has been both personal – he has helped countless people through his efforts – and nationwide in scope. We appreciate his continuing dedication and leadership in his new capacity with us.”
“Having an individual of Kermit’s breadth of experience, his expertise, his vision for professional practice in the future, and his stature as one of the most admired and respected executives in the pharmacy industry join the USC School of Pharmacy is an incredible opportunity for the School,” said R. Pete Vanderveen, PhD, RPh, Dean and John Stauffer Decanal Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy. “Kermit shares the School’s passion for changing the professional role of the pharmacist and will provide our students as well as the school with a great new perspective on our profession with real-world vision and application, as well as working with our team of health economists at the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. We are very excited to have Kermit’s experience, expertise and inspiration at our school.”
Crawford began his career with Walgreens as a pharmacy intern in 1983. He advanced through company ranks, holding positions from pharmacist to store and district manager to vice president of store operations. In 2004, he was named Walgreens Health Services vice president of PBM (pharmacy benefit management) services and, in 2005, was promoted to executive vice president of PBM services and a corporate vice president for Walgreens, heading up all aspects of strategic, operational and profit and loss management of the company’s PBM covering more than 10 million lives.
Crawford was promoted to Walgreens senior vice president and then executive vice president of pharmacy services in 2007 and 2010, respectively. In this role, he pioneered the effort to transform community pharmacy from a transaction-based practice to one focused on access to affordable, quality care. In September 2010, he was promoted to president of the division. In 2011, his role was broadened to include leadership of all pharmacy, health and wellness services.
Chain Drug Review honored Crawford in 2009 as the “Pharmacy Executive of the Year.” In 2011, Chain Drug Review named Walgreens “Retailer of the Year” and recognized Crawford among Walgreens top five executives earning the distinction. In 2012, Savoy Magazine named him one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.” Also in 2012, Black Enterprise Magazine named Crawford one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.”
Crawford is a member of the board of directors of the Allstate Corporation. He also serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and previously on its Policy Council Committee. He is also on the board of directors of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and The Commercial Club of Chicago, in addition to his service on the board of counselors at the USC School of Pharmacy. Crawford earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Texas Southern University in 1983, where he ranked second in his graduating class.
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2013 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond. Each day, in communities across America, more than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with online and mobile services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,215 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that manages more than 400 in-store convenient care clinics throughout the country.