Alex W. Gourlay is one of the keynote speakers at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference being held this week in Chicago, Illinois. Gourlay is president of Illinois-based Walgreen Co., the largest community pharmacy in the US, a role he has filled since September 2014. In 2012 it was announced that Walgreens would acquire Alliance Boots, the European pharmacy and retailer of health and beauty products, and Gourlay has been executive vice president of the global entity Walgreens Boots Alliance since October 2013.

Gourlay’s keynote speech is expected to address Walgreens’ approach to technology adoption as a strategy for driving the mission and vision of the company. One of the reasons why Walgreens sought Gourlay was his experience and success with expanding the front-end of Boots’ business, something Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson wanted to accelerate. Prior to his appointment as Walgreen Co.’s president, Gourlay was the company’s Executive Vice President and President of Customer Experience and Daily Living. 

Gourlay has a lengthy history with the company which became Alliance Boots GmbH, serving as Chief Executive Officer of its Health and Beauty Division and as a board member since 2009. He was managing director of Boots UK Ltd., and part of the operating committee of the Alliance Boots Group which formed in 2007 after the acquisition of Alliance Boots PLC by AB Acquisitions Limited. He also held senior management positions in human resources and store operations, and was healthcare director of Boots the Chemists. Mr. Gourlay was trained as a Qualified Pharmacist.

HIMSS15 runs from 12 to 16 April. The event showcases the latest technologies and trends in healthcare IT, with a focus on education, exhibition and networking. It is expected to bring together nearly 40,000 healthcare IT professionals from the around the world through its onsite and online sessions and workshops.

Sources: Bloomberg, HIMSS, Walgreens

Image Credit: Walgreens

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