Walgreens Boots Alliance comms chief Yves Romestan retires

Yves Romestan has retired as global comms chief at pharmacy giant Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), with many of his former responsibilities taken on by senior colleague Laura Vergani, PRWeek has learned.

All change: Yves Romestan steps down and Laura Vergani's role is expanded
All change: Yves Romestan steps down and Laura Vergani's role is expanded

Romestan, who has been with the company in its different guides since 2003, has held the role of senior vice president, communications and international affairs since the £16bn merger of UK group Alliance Boots and American counterpart Walgreens in 2015.

Following his departure on 21 April, Vergani has been promoted to VP, international and divisional communications. She was previously VP, international comms.

Her roles include overseeing international external comms outside the US, and WBA’s in-house agency-style International Communications Partnership. Vergani now also oversees comms for Walgreens; Boots UK and Ireland; global brands comms; pharmaceutical wholesale comms; and comms for its Retail Pharmacy International operations outside the UK and Ireland.

All the company’s divisional comms directors report into Vergani, who joined in 2011. She reports to Chuck Greener, senior VP, global communications and corporate affairs.

It’s understood that Romestan left the company to spend time with his family and pursue new personal projects.

His first role at the company was as director of communications at predecessor Alliance UniChem. In 2006, he became central marketing & communications director and, in 2008, he was appointed director of group communications for Alliance Boots.

Other changes to the WBA comms team in the past year have included the departure of senior director of internal comms Catriona Woolner-Winders to join B&Q owner Kingfisher as group comms director, and Una Kent being promoted to director of comms at Boots in the UK.

In February, PRWeek reported that Finsbury, Ogilvy and Burson-Marsteller will handle PR for WPP's global comms partnership with WBA.

WBA employs more than 400,000 people in over 25 countries, operating brands including Boots, Walgreens and Alliance Healthcare.


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