Nearly four decades after taking over his family’s pharmaceutical wholesaler in Naples, Italy, Stefano Pessina heads the world’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreens Boots Alliance. Pessina took over as CEO in December 2014.
In June 2017, Walgreens Boots Alliance announced a deal to buy almost half of Rite Aid’s stores for $5.2 billion, terminating a previous merger between the two drugstore chains that had come under close scrutiny due to antitrust concerns.
Born in Italy, Stefano graduated in nuclear engineering from Politecnico di Milano before starting his career in academia and later joining market research firm ACNielsen in Milan. His last big ambition is to build a presence in China. “I have struggled to do it,” he says.