Aaron Radelet joined Walgreens Boots Alliance in July 2019 as its first-ever global chief communications officer, and quickly saw the need to break down silos across divisions and geographies in a pharmacy business that had grown rapidly through a series of acquisitions.
He has since created a WBA corporate communications team, a communications leadership team, a newsroom function to build a steady flow of storytelling, improved focus on reporting and measurement, and initiated monthly town hall meetings for the 200-member communications team working under him.
Just months after joining, WBA found itself on the frontline of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving Aaron working hard to ensure his new teams to reassure and build trust among stakeholders, customers and employees. Internal recognition of communications’ success was matched with unprecedented volumes of favourable media coverage and appearances in key Covid-19 response rankings. Throughout the pandemic, challenges have turned into opportunities as Aaron and his team demonstrated and elevated the value that communications can bring to the business.
In 2020, Aaron encouraged the business to move from words to actions in its support of racial equality, including ensuring stores in Chicago’s South Side, which had been damaged during protests after George Floyd’s death, were rebuilt. He also became an executive sponsor of WBA’s Pride Alliance Business Resource Group as part of his commitment to establish a workplace in which everyone feels empowered to be their true selves and contribute.
“Aaron has achieved a huge amount in the time he’s been at the company, elevating the comms output of the organisation and elevating the discipline itself to the highest level - extremely impressive.”
Claire Hassett, managing director and chief communications officer, Deloitte Global
Claire Hassett has been in her role since 2015, successfully improving reputation, strengthening employer brand and building awareness of climate and CSR initiatives for both the global entity and its more than 30 member firms. The unique challenges of 2020 have made her role even more pivotal in the company, as Claire expertly co-ordinated global activity to support pandemic-hit communities and worked closely with senior Deloitte leaders to share timely insights, reinforcing Deloitte’s leadership position.
Jack Dyas, senior communications manager, beIN MEDIA GROUP
Michael Kaye, global communications & public relations manager, OkCupid