Chief executive of Alliance Boots, Richard Baker, quits following takeover by private equity firm KKR

Chief executive of Alliance Boots, Richard Baker, has resigned from the company, less than a month after it was taken over by private equity firm KKR. Baker announced his resignation after discussing the option of continuing in a role as chief executive officer, but decided to pursue his career elsewhere, the company said.

Stefano Pessina, ranked 428 in the 2006 Forbes’ world’s richest people list, will now take the role of executive chairman following the £11bn merger deal.

Scott Wheway, managing director of Boots The Chemists and at one point a contender to replace Baker, has also resigned.

An Alliance Boots statement said: “Wheway has decided not to accept a position in the new business. [Wheway] felt that as the business enters the next phase of development, his own career plans did not enable him to give a firm commitment to stay for the next few years.”

The new management structure has promoted Alex Gourlay, healthcare director for Boots The Chemist, to managing director of the high-street chain.

Dominic Murphy, Johannes Huth and Mattia Capriola of KKR have been appointed directors. Ornella Barr, George Fairweather, Steve Duncan and Marco Magni will also be joining the board.

Pessina said: “We are grateful to Richard Baker for all he has done in leading the Alliance Boots group through its merger and for all his hard work and excellent results. We are confident that he will go on to new levels of achievement in a role commensurate with his undoubted skill and ability.”

He added: “We are pleased to announce the new management team. We see fantastic opportunities for a business that is a pharmacy-led, healthcare and beauty expert, and a significant player in all its markets.

“It’s important to our success that the team is committed to the company for the long term as we deliver our strategic vision.”

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