Our Leaders

       
  • Sebastian James, Managing Director

    Sebastian James is Senior Vice President, President and Managing Director of Boots UK & ROI. He leads all Boots’ businesses including Boots Opticians, both across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, with the support of Boots senior leaders. In December 2019, he won ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at the Beauty Inc. Awards.

    Before joining Boots in September 2018, Sebastian held the position of Group Chief Executive of Dixons Carphone from August 2014 to January 2018 following the merger of Dixons Retail Group with Carphone Warehouse. He joined Dixons in April 2008 and held various roles, including Group Operations Director, prior to his appointment as Group Chief Executive in February 2012.

    Before joining Dixons Retail, Sebastian was Chief Executive Officer of Synergy Insurance Services Limited. He started his career at The Boston Consulting Group.

    Sebastian is also a Non-Executive Director of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

  • Steve Ager, Chief Customer & Category Officer

    Steve joined Boots in June 2020 as Vice President Commercial Director, leading the Trading and Boots.com function across the UK and ROI. He subsequently took on leadership responsibility for marketing and retail own brand in November 2020. 

    Steve is a deeply experienced commercial and digital director with broad experience of commercial both in the UK and internationally. 

    Prior to Steve’s appointment he was Chief Commercial Officer & Director of Digital and a member of the Executive Committee for 12 years at Dixons Carphone.  During this time Steve headed up international sourcing leading the top to top supplier relationships across the group.

    Previously, Steve was Commercial Director at Tesco for 25 years, where he gained deep experience across commercial, international sourcing, digital general management and health and beauty. Steve also held roles as President of Tesco China and Managing Director of Global Sourcing.

  • Paula Bobbett, Chief Digital Officer

    Paula was appointed to her current executive role in May 2022 and is responsible for continuing to deliver at scale and pace digital transformation and omnichannel strategy across Boots.

    Since joining Boots in December 2020, Paula has driven the end-to-end development of boots.com during a period of massive growth. She has been instrumental in strengthening online performance and positioning boots.com as the UK’s number one health and beauty website.

    Paula has a highly experienced background in online trading, commercial strategy and analytics, moving to Boots from her role as Head of Online Performance at Dixons Carphone and has held previous strategy and analytics roles at Avon, British Airways, Debenhams and Vanguard Strategy.

  • Pete Bowrey, Retail Director

    Pete Bowrey joined Boots UK as Retail Director in 2019 and oversees the UK store estate, Boots Central Operations and Boots Customer Service Centre. Within six months, Pete was leading store teams through one of the most challenging periods.

    Pete's focuses as Retail Director have included driving a number of significant change programmes to modernise and create a more efficient retail organisation, making sure that Boots store organisation, customers and team members are at the heart of decision making.

    Prior to Boots, Pete was at Tesco for 30 years, holding roles as Director and as COO of their business in China. After his time at Tesco, Pete held a position on the executive board of Dunelm Soft Furnishings.

  • Rich Corbridge (FBCS), Chief Information Officer

    Rich is responsible for delivering technology across the whole of the Boots estate in the UK and Ireland, stores, e-commerce, healthcare and supply chain.

    Helping to champion professionalisation of the IT industry in retail, Boots UK has become a member of The Chartered Institute for IT (BSC), the professional body for computing, under Rich’s leadership. The IT leadership team are now all Fellows of BCS.

    As an expert in digital health, Rich has held many senior information and digital technology roles in the industry, including executive positions at Leeds NHS Trust, the Irish Health Care system, the National Institute for Health Research and NHS Digital.

    Rich is the chair of the advisory board for health tech communication firm Silver Buck and the global advisory board of KLAS Research Organisation. Rich and was named in Marketing Week’s Top 50 CX Executives in the UK in 2022 and is listed in the top ten CIOs in the CIO100. Rich also holds the O’Moore medal, the highest accolade for informatics leaders in Ireland.

  • David Hobbs, Transformation Director

    David joined Boots in November 2018 as Commercial Director with accountability for Trading, Boots.com and Space, Range & Merchandising, beginning his current role in early 2020. As Transformation Director, he has led the turnaround of the Boots business and coordinated its activity to manage the impacts of the global pandemic. David also has exec accountability for Boots ROI.

    David has spent most of his 30-year career in retail in operational and strategic roles. He started out in Marks & Spencer as a buyer in their food division, before studying in the US for a Masters in Business and becoming a Management Consultant focused on Retail and FMCG.

    In 2002 he joined Tesco, who had been one of his clients, initially as Transformation Director but later moving into operational roles in Malaysia, China and back in the UK. His last role at Tesco was on the Group Executive as Strategy & Business Planning Director.

    Before joining Boots David worked in Private Equity with Terra Firma as Managing Director for Portfolio Business Strategy, investing in companies like McDonalds in the Nordics and sitting on the Board of Wyevale Garden Centres.

  • Ben Horner, HR Director

    Ben oversees the HR function across the UK and Ireland, which provides information and support to more than 50,000 team members. 

    Ben has been with Boots since 2004, previously working as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, where he was responsible for various corporate and commercial transactions and managed a team of specialist lawyers.

    He is also Executive Sponsor of Boots UK’s charitable partnership with The Prince’s Trust, Executive Sponsor of the Walgreens Boots Alliance’s disAbility Alliance business resource group in the UK, and a member of the Employment & Skills Leadership Team of Business in the Community.

  • Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer 

    Pete is responsible for all marketing activity across the UK and Ireland, including brand, marketing communications, data and loyalty.

    Adopting a results-driven approach, he is a highly experienced marketing leader at both global and regional levels, specialising in data and analytics, and customer experience.

    Pete has been the recipient of four “Marketer of the Year” awards, and has worked at companies across various industries, including TSB, Aviva, The Post Office, and British Gas.

    As well as being an Executive Sponsor for Boots UK’s Marketing for Change initiative, which helps to foster diversity and inclusion across its marketing activity, Pete is also the Executive Sponsor for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Pride Alliance (LGBT+) business resource group in the UK.

  • Alan Penhale, Supply Chain Director

    Alan is Director of Supply Chain for Boots UK, responsible for supply chain strategy and availability of products in store and online.

    Alan joined Boots in 1984 as a management trainee while studying Business and Management at Trent University. He was part of a team that successfully delivered numerous automation and robotic projects, which have led to the industry-leading supply chain solutions Boots has today. Alan was the design and build lead for the award-winning Boots automated warehouse in Nottingham.

    Alan is also responsible for in-house retail, pharmacy and e-commerce warehouse operations, managing the distribution network with Boots 3PL partners.

  • Lucy Reynolds, Director of Communications & CSR

    Lucy is Vice President and Director of Communications and ESG at Boots. She is responsible for external and internal communications, as well as CSR and sustainability, championing Boots‘ core messages to customers, team members, the media, and wider stakeholders. She also leads WBA corporate communications for the UK. 

    Lucy has been instrumental in the development of Boots’ CSR partnerships with The Hygiene Bank, The Prince's Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.

    Before joining Boots in January 2020, Lucy was Head of External Communications at Vodafone, focusing on strategic communications and reputation transformation. Prior to this she spent 12 years at Jaguar Land Rover in multiple global senior roles. Lucy started her career in communications as a graduate with GSK.

  • Michael Snape, Chief Financial Officer

    Michael leads Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Finance, Property and Procurement teams outside of the U.S., across Boots, No7 Beauty Company, Boots Opticians and International Retail.

    Prior to WBA, Michael was International CFO for Tesco PLC, covering all of Tesco’s activities outside of the UK across Central Europe, SE Asia, India and China.

    Michael's earlier career was at J Sainsbury plc and Waitrose in various roles across finance, strategy, investor relations and commercial.