The richest man in pharmacy

Who is the world’s richest retail pharmacy shareholder? 

He’s the CEO of what is described as “the world’s first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise”, and he’s also its largest shareholder….

Stefano Pessina (pictured) is currently number 72 on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, with a worth of US$14.2 billion (Aus $18.8 billion).

Pessina is the CEO and largest shareholder of Walgreens Boots Alliance, created through the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014. He had led Alliance Boots prior to the merger.  

A citizen of Monaco, the Italian-born Pessina has a background as a nuclear engineer, but took over his family’s own pharmaceutical wholesaling business in 1977. His partner Ornella Barra, the co-chief operating officer of the alliance, is a qualified pharmacist. 

The sheer size of Walgreens Boots Alliance is staggering – with 8000 pharmacies in the US alone.  In total it has 13,200 pharmacies in 11 countries, as well as one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks, with over 390 distribution centres. 

The conglomeration has a presence in more than 25 countries, employing more than 400,000 people.

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