Rite Aid CEO leaves drugstore chain

Rite Aid CEO leaves drugstore chain

Rite Aid CEO leaves drugstore chain

Rite Aid said its chief executive officer, Heyward Donigan, is leaving the company, which has struggled to become profitable during his more than three-year tenure.

The drugstore chain said Monday that Donigan is leaving the “company as president and CEO and as a member of the board” and has appointed board member “Elizabeth “Busy” Burr, a member of the company’s board of directors, as interim CEO, effective immediately. Donigan has served as Rite Aid’s chief executive officer since August 2019.

In a statement, Donigan said she was “proud of everything we’ve accomplished together” and believes “the company is well positioned for the future.”

Rite Aid CEO Bruce Bodaken said the board and Donigan agreed “that now is the right time to identify the next leader of the company.”

“With a deep understanding of the industry and our strategy, the board was unanimous in the belief that Busy is highly qualified to serve as interim CEO while the board searches for a permanent successor,” Bodoaken said. “We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber in this role and are confident that Busy can lead the company forward during this transition period.”

The decision to hire a new CEO comes as Rite Aid struggled to compete with larger rivals CVS Health, Walgreens and Walmart and failed to turn a profit despite closing dozens of stores.

Rite Aid, which has already closed 145 unprofitable stores last year, could close more underperforming locations, executives said in December when it reported a quarterly loss of more than $67 million and is now forecasting larger losses for the fiscal year 2023 when projected three months earlier.

Rite Aid, which has struggled in recent years to compete with larger rivals Walgreens, CVS Health and Walmart dispensaries, said in April it plans to “cut costs significantly” by “closing a total of 145 unprofitable stores.” . The number includes the 63 stores the company announced it would close back in December.

Rite Aid on Monday reiterated guidance for fiscal 2023, which projects “net loss of between $584 million and $551 million, adjusted EBITDA of between $410 million and $440 million, and capital expenditures of approximately $225 million.”

New interim CEO Burr is the former President and Chief Commercial Officer of Carrot Inc., a digital healthcare company.

“Having served as director since 2019, I have great respect for the important role Rite Aid plays as a full-service pharmacy improving health outcomes for millions of Americans,” Burr said in a statement. “I will work with the board and management team to fulfill our tremendous potential while supporting our thousands of pharmacists and team members who focus every day on meeting the needs of our communities and customers. With Rite Aid’s well-established brand and its dedicated and talented team, I look forward to executing our business strategy and increasing value for all of our stakeholders.”

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