Deerfield, Ill. Walgreen Co. has selected an insider, president and COO Gregory D. Wasson, as its new CEO. The 50-year-old Wasson was appointed by the board of directors, with an announcement made late Sunday.
Wasson will retain the position of president. His new appointment, effective Feb. 1, ends a search that began when former CEO Jeffrey Rein left in October, just days after Walgreen abandoned its effort to buy California-based rival Longs Drugs Stores Corp.
Alan G. McNally, 63, who has served as chairman and acting CEO since Oct. 2008, will remain chairman of Walgreen's board.
Wasson joined Walgreens as a pharmacy intern in 1980 and advanced steadily through increasingly responsible executive positions over the course of his 29-year career with the company.
Wasson said in a statement that despite economic challenges, the company has "tremendous advantages," including an "iconic brand and strong balance sheet."