OPERATIONS

American Eagle Adds Creative Director Post

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh American Eagle Outfitters announced Thursday that Roger Markfield, former chief merchandising officer/co-CEO of AEO and current member of the AEO board of directors has been appointed to a newly created full time role as vice chairman, executive creative director of American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.

In his new position, Markfield will work closely with all creative leaders within the American Eagle brand, including design, merchandising and marketing.

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Walgreen CEO Search on Track

BY CSA STAFF

Deerfield, Ill. Walgreen Co. said Wednesday that it could choose its full-time CEO by early February.

Chairman and acting CEO Alan McNally said Walgreen has retained executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to help find a replacement for former CEO Jeffrey Rein. McNally said it generally takes three or four months to find a new chief executive, which implies the company could complete its search by early February.

He said Walgreen is considering both internal and external candidates and is not favoring one over the other.

Rein resigned from Walgreen on Oct. 10, shortly after Walgreen ended its attempt to buy Longs Drugs Stores. He led the company for about two and a half years.

McNally’s comments came at Walgreen’s annual shareholders meeting.

In related news, Walgreens plans to reduce about 1,000 corporate staff and field-management positions in 2009. The job cuts are a part of its effort to reduce capital spending by $1 billion over the next three years.

Walgreens is also targeting an additional $1 billion in annual cost reductions by 2011, it said. The pharmacy chain plans to reduce 9% of existing positions through voluntary retirement packages or outright job cuts through August, according to details released earlier this month.

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Walgreens Unveils New Wellness Program

BY CSA STAFF

Deerfield, Ill. Walgreen Co. announced Wednesday it has launched its Complete Care and Well-Being program aimed at employers.

The company said the program will be run through its Take Care Health Systems businesses, which it bought in May 2007. Take Care has grown from the original 50 clinics to 322 clinics in Walgreen stores today, and has partnerships with a number of health insurers.

The company said the new program will offer clear pricing to employers and discounts on Walgreen brand products for workers and lower prescription drug prices. It is designed to reduce health care and prescription costs for large employers.

“Over the past two years, we built and assembled the services necessary to offer a unique solution to rising pharmacy and healthcare costs,” said Walgreens president Greg Wasson.

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