Roche to leave API, thanked by Guild

API CEO and managing director Stephen Roche is set to step down, to be replaced by Richard Vincent.

Vincent is currently API’s general manager of Business Development, Operations and Strategy. The change is in line with the Company’s succession plan.

From today, there will be a structured transition phase with Vincent as CEO-elect working with Roche until he leaves the business in mid-February 2017.

API Chairman Peter Robinson says that Roche had informed the Board of his intention to step down at a time that would allow the Board to implement a smooth transition. Robinson paid tribute to  Roche’s contribution to the business in the 10 years he has been at the helm.

“Stephen was appointed CEO and Managing Director in 2006 to stabilise the wholesaling business and undertake a major expansion of the Priceline Pharmacy network to create a leading mass market health and beauty retailer,” he says.

“Undoubtedly, he has delivered on that mandate. Since he joined we have built the total Priceline-Priceline Pharmacy network to more than 440 stores which has annualised retail turnover of more than $2 billion. Priceline Pharmacy also has a strong pipeline expected to deliver a minimum of twenty new stores per annum into the foreseeable future.

“The Priceline Pharmacy brand has completely transformed its customer offering. Our like-for-like sales growth has been consistently strong for the last five years and we are the market leader in colour cosmetics and skincare, the two largest beauty categories.

“Stephen has also successfully managed a major re-engineering of our wholesaling business in the face of major regulatory and structural changes to the sector. Major transformational initiatives include investments of $57 million in our supply chain and $45 million in the implementation of a world first wholesale and retail SAP system.

“On behalf of the Board, our shareholders and employees, I extend to Stephen our sincere appreciation of his leadership and success during a major period of transition,” Robinson said.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, George Tambassis, today paid tribute to Roche.

Tambassis said Roche had been a great supporter of community pharmacy and under his guidance API has grown and innovated.

“Stephen has been a very strong and vocal proponent of the current model of community pharmacy which delivers such great service to communities throughout Australia,” Tambassis said.

“He recognises the great value that this model makes to the health system in this country and its essential role in improving the health outcomes of Australians.

“Under his stewardship, policies and procedures have been put into place to help community pharmacies deliver medicines to patients and to improve the welling of consumers.

“His restructure of the company’s wholesaling operations was undertaken with a view to ensuring the needs of community pharmacies were taken into account.”

Tambassis said the Guild looked forward to further developing its strong relationship with API under Mr Vincent.

“Richard’s appointment is part of a strategic and focussed succession plan at API and the Guild looks forward to building on this relationship for the benefit of the sector, and for consumers and patients,” Tambassis said.

“Richard has extensive knowledge and experience in the sector and this will be of great value in the challenging periods ahead.

“We will work closely with Richard to ensure the aims and goals of all stakeholders in the sector can be addressed.”

Image: Stephen Roche with Whitney Port and Ada Nicodemou at last year’s Priceline Festival of Beauty.

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