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New executive leadership team for Boots UK and ROI

09 September 2014
Feature Brand

Boots UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) today announces that it has put in place a new executive leadership team to further drive the strategy, direction and performance of the businesses ahead of the expected merger with Walgreens in the first quarter of calendar 2015.
This new executive leadership team, which will be in place from 15 September 2014, will report to Simon Roberts, Managing Director, Health & Beauty UK and ROI, Alliance Boots. It will comprise:

    • Kevin Birch, who will continue as Director of Operations, with responsibility to lead operations including the development of a new operating model.


    • Karl Crane, who will continue as Director of Stores, with responsibility for customer care delivery and the leadership of the stores teams.


    • Andy Ferguson, who will continue as Director of Marketing, with responsibility to lead the marketing work involved in the businesses’ customer proposition and strategy.


    • Suzanne Hansen, who will join as Director of Healthcare, with responsibility to lead the development and delivery of the Boots healthcare offer. She will replace Richard Ashworth, who will return to a role in Walgreens in October 2014. Suzanne, a pharmacist with over 20 years’ experience, joins from Walgreens and is expected to take up her new role in the autumn. She has a great track record with expertise in pharmacy and retail operations and most recently the healthcare clinic business.


    • Stephen Lehane, who is appointed as Director of Human Resources, with responsibility to lead the organisation and its people through this time of change for the businesses.


    • Mark Muller, who will continue as Director of Finance, with responsibility to ensure the businesses have the right financial planning to further grow and invest.


    • Annie Murphy, who is appointed as Director of Trading, with overall responsibility for trading activity and performance.


  • Robin Phillips, who will join in the newly created role of Director of Multichannel, with responsibility for all aspects of digital, loyalty and IT activities to accelerate the delivery of a multichannel approach across the businesses. He will join at the beginning of November from Waitrose and previously John Lewis, bringing invaluable experience of developing multichannel capabilities and performance.

Simon Roberts said: “The expectations of customers and patients are changing faster than ever, and they want us to have even more innovative products and services, at great value, delivered by caring and informed colleagues, and through a leading multichannel experience. At Boots, we pride ourselves on anticipating and delivering these, and with this new executive leadership team in place I am confident we will continue to further grow and improve the businesses in the UK and ROI.”

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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023