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Boots' UK boss Simon Roberts to leave amid shake-up

Published 09/06/2016

Simon Roberts, president of Boots, will leave in July
Simon Roberts, president of Boots, will leave in July

The boss of Boots in the UK is to step down from his role to "pursue new opportunities", the company has announced.

Simon Roberts, president of Boots, will leave the pharmacy chain in July as part of a major shake-up of its senior management team.

It comes after it was claimed in April that managers at the firm had been claiming public money from the NHS by directing their pharmacists to give medicine-use reviews (MUR) to customers who did not need them.

Mr Roberts, a former executive vice president of parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance, said: "I feel very privileged and fortunate to have had 13 happy years at Boots and the opportunity to work alongside a great team, and with many exceptionally talented people.

"As Boots is such an extraordinary company with a compelling and life-changing purpose, this of course has been a difficult decision to make."

The shake-up will see Elizabeth Fagan, current senior vice president and managing director of international retail, take up the role of managing director of Boots.

Meanwhile, Alex Gourlay and Ornella Barra will also be handed additional roles as co-chief operating officers.

Jim Skinner, executive chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said: "The changes announced today will allow us to further enhance operating performance, while developing our company for the longer term".

Boots announced in February that it could shed up to 350 jobs as it pressed ahead with a three-year plan to boost growth.

The chemist chain said it would impact assistant store managers in its larger shops, as it proposed to slash between 300 and 350 management roles.

The company - which employs nearly 60,000 people across the UK - said it would make the cuts through redundancies, or by retraining and moving staff into different roles.

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