Boots UK boss Simon Roberts stepping down after 13 years at the pharmacy giant

The UK boss of pharmacy giant Boots, Simon Roberts, is stepping down next month after 13 years at the company to “pursue new opportunities”.

His decision to resign follows a Guardian report in April which accused Boots of claiming money from the NHS by encouraging staff to carry out unnecessary medicine reviews.

However, The Telegraph said that Roberts’ decision to leave is not linked to the newspaper investigation; he is understood to have made the decision to leave several months ago.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the US-based parent company of Boots.

The announcement was made as part of a broader management overhaul by the US-group Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) – created in December 2014 after the merger of Walgreens with Alliance Boots.

Alex Gourlay and Ornella Barra, already executive vice-presidents at WBA, were both named co-chief operating officers.

Stefano Pessina, executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said: “I would like to warmly thank Simon for his outstanding contribution and for the key role he played at Boots during the past 13 years of his career.

“We wish him the very best for the future.”

Mr Roberts worked at Marks & Spencer for 15 years before joining Boots in 2003. He was appointed head of the UK and Ireland division of the company in 2013 and became president of Boots in 2015.

Mr Roberts said in a statement:

“Over the past three years we have achieved good progress in modernising our business to be better prepared for the opportunities and challenges of today’s world and the strategy and plans to build an even better Boots are well on track.

“I’ve therefore come to realise that now is the right time for me to step away and consider new opportunities for the future, and for a new leader to take the business forward in the next phase.”