Boots poaches Dixons Carphones CEO Sebastian James

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Sebastian James

Walgreens Boots Alliance has poached Dixons Carphone chief executive Sebastian James to head up its Boots fascia.

Sebastian James has stepped down after six years in the role at the electrical retailer to become senior vice president, president and managing director of the health and beauty retailer.

He is due to join the US-based Walgreens Boots Alliance during summer but it won’t be until September 1 that he formally starts his new role at Boots.

James will report to Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Meanwhile Elizabeth Fagan, who has led Boots since June 2016, will continue working with Walgreens Boots Alliance and will take on the newly-created role of non-executive chairman of Boots in the new financial year.

“It has been an enormous privilege to lead this business and to work with such passionate and committed colleagues over the last few years,” James said.

“Together, I think that we can be very proud of the profound transformation that we have seen in Dixons Carphone and the sound footing, customer affection, and place in the world that it now enjoys.”

Gourley added: “We are delighted that Sebastian will join our company at an equally exciting and challenging time for the retail environment in the UK and for the future development of Boots, a brand synonymous with pharmacy and care.

“We are sure his deep retail expertise will drive significant progress and innovation at Boots for the benefit all our stakeholders.

“I also want to warmly thank Elizabeth who has been leading the business very successfully for the last 18 months or so, and in her over 11 years with the company has made an invaluable contribution. She will continue to do so in her next role.”

James’ departure from Dixons Carphone comes less than a month after finance director Humphrey Singer left for similar position at Marks & Spencer.

James will be replaced by Shop Direct group chief executive Alex Baldock at the end of the financial year in April.

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