DEERFIELD, Ill., November 1, 2023 – Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) today named Neal Sample as its new Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO), effective immediately.
Sample will report to Tim Wentworth, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WBA, as a member of the Executive Committee and serve on the IT Governance Committee. He has been working alongside WBA technology leaders over the course of the last month to assess and advance the company’s technology goals. Moving forward, he will lead the strategy for WBA’s IT function and the implementation of its technology and digital innovation, with an emphasis on improving the digital experience for customers and patients, as WBA continues its next phase of growth into a customer-centric healthcare company.
Sample is an award-winning technologist and seasoned executive who has a strong track record of driving growth and innovation. He brings more than 20 years of deep experience across highly regulated industries including healthcare, financial services and consumer internet, and has worked at start-ups and legacy Fortune 100 companies. He is passionate about building talent pipelines, paving progressive career paths and positively impacting communities.
He currently serves as Chairman of the Board at Wellfield Technologies, Inc., as well as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, Missouri.
He was previously the CIO for Northwestern Mutual, where he rebuilt, optimized and centralized the technology function for the company. During this time, he was able to attract and develop world-class leaders in security, data, engineering and infrastructure, raise internal and external technology metrics, and implement several automated and self-service capabilities for clients.
Prior, he served as Chief Operating Officer and CIO of Express Scripts, where he streamlined operations, accelerated growth, improved key operating metrics, launched a new product line, led the architecture and platform delivery of complex information systems for nearly 30,000 employees and 80 million patients nationwide, retired legacy mainframe applications and transitioned the organization to the cloud.
He also held several roles within the Enterprise Growth Business at American Express including EVP, Chief Marketing Technologist, and CIO, before being named President. While there, he pioneered product launches focused on digital banking alternatives for lower-income individuals, improved EBITDA, led spin-off and wind-down of non-core businesses, transformed a waterfall product development organization to Agile, updated and moved mainframe application suite to the cloud and launched major new digital co-branded products with key industry players.
Sample previously held roles at eBay, Yahoo! Inc. and RightOrder, Inc.
Sample is a thought leader in information technology, holding more than a dozen patents as the author of various published works. He earned his Doctorate and Master of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University and his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Wyoming.
“I am excited to welcome Neal to our executive leadership team and confident that as our CIO he will help take our IT capabilities to the next level using his strong background and experience in formulating modernization plans, implementing technology solutions, accelerating growth and redefining standards of execution excellence,” said Mr. Wentworth. “He will be a key component to achieving our goals as we build on the company’s pharmacy strength and trusted brand to evolve healthcare delivery.”
“WBA has a powerful vision to be the leading partner in reimagining local healthcare and wellbeing for all. I am eager and excited to continue working alongside an incredibly talented and dedicated team to advance technology and digital innovation at WBA toward our goal to be the independent partner of choice in pharmacy and healthcare services,” said Sample.
About Walgreens Boots Alliance
Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail leader serving millions of customers and patients every day, with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities.
A trusted, global innovator in retail pharmacy with more than 12,500 locations across the U.S., Europe and Latin America, WBA plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem. The company is reimagining local healthcare and well-being for all as part of its purpose – to create more joyful lives through better health. Through dispensing medicines, improving access to a wide range of health services, providing high quality health and beauty products and offering anytime, anywhere convenience across its digital platforms, WBA is shaping the future of healthcare.
WBA employs approximately 330,000 people and has a presence in eight countries through its portfolio of consumer brands: Walgreens, Boots, Duane Reade, the No7 Beauty Company and Benavides in Mexico. Additionally, WBA has a portfolio of healthcare-focused investments located in several countries, including China and the U.S.
The company is proud of its contributions to healthy communities, a healthy planet, an inclusive workplace and a sustainable marketplace. WBA has been recognized for its commitment to being an inclusive workplace. In fiscal 2023, the Company received a score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, scored 100 percent on the Disability Equality Index for disability inclusion and was named Disability:IN’s 2023 Employer of the Year. In addition, WBA has been recognized for its commitment to operating sustainably as the company is an index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). More company information is available at www.walgreensbootsalliance.com.
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