Alex Gourlay, Chief Executive of the Health and Beauty Division, Alliance Boots
Building an internationally recognised brand
Thursday 20 October 2011
The UK’s biggest pharmacy-led health and beauty brand was founded in Nottingham over 160 years ago. The city continues to be home to around 8,000 of Boots employees, including scientists, pharmacists, marketers, buyers, retailers, lawyers and accountants.
The company has touched millions over the years through its retail chain, popular own brands such as No7 (launched in 1935) and the creation of breakthrough drugs such as ibuprofen in 1969.
What does the future hold for a major consumer icon like Boots in the 21st Century? Alex Gourlay will talk about how the company is becoming a truly international brand. He will also consider the potential impact for Alliance Boots and the city following the Prime Minister’s announcement in March 2011 that the Boots site in Beeston is to be home to one of the UK’s first Enterprise Zones.
Alex Gourlay was appointed to the Board of Alliance Boots in January 2009 when he became Chief Executive of the Health & Beauty Division. His role includes leading the Boots retail operations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, with close to 2,500 Boots stores and the UK-based Boots Opticians practices.
Alex was previously Managing Director of Boots UK and a member of the Group Operating committee following the acquisition of Alliance Boots plc by AB Acquisitions Limited in 2007. Prior to this, he was Healthcare Director of Boots the Chemists, having held senior management positions in store operations and human resources. He was appointed to the Board of Business in the Community in July 2010.
Alex joined Boots in 1976 as a Saturday assistant and qualified as a pharmacist in 1981. He is married with two daughters; lives in Solihull and enjoys sport. He is a pharmacist and a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.
There are around 65,000 employees within Boots UK. The Nottingham site has been home to Boots operations since 1927 and today supports activities for Alliance Boots both in the UK and internationally; including marketing, retail, research and development, manufacturing, legal, finance, logistics and distribution capability.