DEERFIELD, Ill., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Walgreen Co. today announced the retirement of George Eilers Sr., senior vice president of southern store operations, effective Jan. 11. Replacing him will be Kevin P. Walgreen, currently a vice president of store operations for the company. Eilers Sr., 65, started his 46-year Walgreens career in 1959 as a service clerk before earning a pharmacy degree in 1963 from the University of Cincinnati. He was named a store manager in 1964, became a district manager in 1972 and was named a regional vice president of store operations in 1983. From 1986 to 1992, Eilers served as vice president of purchasing before returning to store operations as a regional vice president. He was named to his current position in January 1999. "George knows more about the nuts and bolts of running a Walgreens store than most of us can ever hope to learn," said Walgreens Chairman and CEO Dave Bernauer. "He has influenced and developed hundreds of our folks' careers over his 46 years. When George spotted someone committed to doing their best, he did all he could to help them succeed and be fully recognized." Walgreen, 44, joined the company in 1978 as a stock clerk. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1984 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology, he was named a store manager in 1986, a district manager in 1988 and a regional vice president of store operations in 1995. He is a great-grandson of Walgreens founder Charles R. Walgreen Sr. "Kevin is another example of leadership grown from the store level up," said Bernauer. "In his 27 years with the company, he's worked at every level of our operations. Kevin's support for his employees and ability to develop them will benefit his entire division." Replacing Walgreen as a vice president of store operations is William M. Arnoult Jr., currently a district manager for the company. Arnoult Jr. joined Walgreens in 1990 after graduating from Marquette University the same year with a bachelor of arts degree in communications. He was named a store manager in 1993 and promoted to a district manager in 2000. Walgreen Co. (NYSE, Nasdaq: WAG) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2005 sales of $42.2 billion. The company operates 5,056 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico. Walgreens also provides additional services to pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives (a pharmacy benefits manager), Walgreens Mail Service, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy and Walgreens Home Care.
SOURCE Walgreen Co.