Eight-year Walgreens executive Manmohan Mahajan is moving from interim to permanent CFO of the company as part of a leadership shakeup, the drugstore chain said Thursday.
The permanent CFO appointment was one of three senior management changes announced by Walgreens as it looks for a fresh start after struggling with financial problems, layoffs and other challenges. The company also tapped former CVS executive Mary Langowski to take over its U.S. Healthcare unit and named former Hanesbrands executive Elizabeth Burger as its chief human resources officer.
“Today’s announcement solidifies the leadership team that will carry [Walgreens] into its future as we look to expand our reach beyond neighborhood pharmacies into the fastest-growing areas of healthcare,” Walgreens CEO Tim Wentworth said in a press release.
The changes come on the heels of Walgreens’ appointment of Wentworth as its new CEO last October. The company abruptly announced in September that former CEO Rosalind Brewer was stepping down as a result of a mutual decision between her and the board of directors. Walgreens’ lead independent director, Ginger Graham, was named interim CEO pending a search for a permanent replacement.
Walgreens struggled financially in 2023 amid lower demand for COVID-19 tests and vaccines, along with flagging front-store sales, as previously reported by CFO Dive sister publication Healthcare Dive.
The company has also conducted multiple rounds of layoffs over the past year. Last October, it was in the spotlight as frustrated pharmacy workers across the country staged walkouts to protest what they characterized as unsafe working conditions related to the filling of prescriptions.
More bad news came in December, when Moody's cut Walgreens’ credit rating to junk status, citing the drugstore chain’s high debt relative to earnings and risks associated with its push to offer more healthcare services, as reported by Bloomberg.
As interim CFO, Mahajan played a key role in leading Walgreens’ growth and cost discipline efforts, according to the company’s Thursday release. His focus has included increasing the company’s cash flow by lowering capital expenditures while also keeping it on track to achieve $1 billion in cost savings this year, the release said.
Mahajan was named interim CFO in July 2023, replacing James Kehoe, who is now finance chief of fintech company FIS.
Prior to becoming interim CFO of Walgreens, Mahajan served in three other senior finance leadership positions at the company: senior vice president, global controller and chief accounting officer, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before joining the company in 2016, he served in various financial roles at GE Capital, a former subsidiary of General Electric Co.
Langowski joins Walgreens after serving as CEO of healthcare technology platform provider Solera Health since 2020. Her employment background also includes a two-year stint as executive vice president and chief strategy and corporate development officer of CVS Health, according to her LinkedIn page.
Langowski will lead Walgreens’ U.S. Healthcare segment as the company looks to expand its role in healthcare, the release said. The unit’s current president, John Driscoll, will transition to a senior advisory role, it said.
Burger comes to Walgreens after serving as CHRO of Flowserve, a maker of valves, pumps and other fluid-control products, for the last six years. Prior to joining Flowserve, she was CHRO of the clothing company Hanesbrands for over three years.