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Walgreens’ Beauty Head Lauren Brindley Departs, Succeeded by Heather Hughes

Brindley had been in the role since 2015.

Lauren Brindley is stepping down from her role as head of beauty and personal care at Walgreens Boots Alliance at the end of July, WWD has learned. Heather Hughes, a longtime Walgreens employee, will be stepping into her shoes as group vice president of beauty and personal care and seasonal.

It’s understood that Brindley is pursuing a yet-to-be-revealed external opportunity and that the exit is an amicable one.

“Today I am announcing my personal decision to leave Walgreens at the end of the month for an external opportunity. I am so proud of what the team have been able to accomplish together over the last six years…launching hundreds of new brands, elevating 3,000 beauty departments in Walgreens stores across the country, accelerating our digital business and building out our unique beauty consultant program,” Brindley said. “Making change happen in large corporate organizations is never easy but when you have great people to do it with, it not only makes it worthwhile but also fun. The stage is set for continued growth and elevation of beauty and personal care at Walgreens and I will continue to be a champion for the business and our brand partners.”

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After 12 years at Boots, Brindley was named group vice president of beauty and personal care of Walgreens in 2015. Prior to Boots, she held various roles at British supermarket Tesco.

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On Hughes’ appointment, Luke Rauch, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer at Walgreens, said: “With a background as a pharmacist and 20 years of experience with Walgreens driving transformation, Heather’s passion for health and well-being makes her a natural fit for our beauty and personal care business. Heather is a decisive leader who most recently oversaw Walgreens’ strategy to develop and curate a better-for-you grocery assortment.”

She began her career at a pharmacist at CVS, before moving to Walgreens where she has held a number of different roles in her more than two decades at the company including disease state manager. Most recently, she was group vice president of general merchandise and photo.

The company recently revealed that it had shelved plans to sell Boots and its No7 beauty brand after no third party was able to make an offer that “adequately reflects the high potential value” of the business amid the macroeconomic environment and mounting speculation that the U.S. will fall into a recession.