Walgreens says it froze pay for senior executives in 2014

AP News
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Posted: Apr 15, 2015 4:57 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Drugstore chain Walgreens froze pay late last year for a few hundred senior executives as part of a cost-cutting plan.

Since August Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. has announced plans to eliminate $1.5 billion in annual spending, and the company said Wednesday that it decided that its cost-cutting plans should start with its corporate leadership.

The Deerfield, Illinois-based company disclosed the move Wednesday in a conference call with analysts and investors.

A spokesman for Walgreens says the company raises pay annually in November, but decided in 2014 that senior leaders would not receive a pay increase. The company did not say if the freeze would extend beyond this year.

As part of its cost-cutting plans, Walgreens will close about 200 stores, or 2 percent of its more than 8,200 U.S. locations. It closed 76 stores last year.

In December Walgreens combined with Alliance Boots, which runs the largest pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom. Walgreens took a 45-percent stake in Alliance Boots in 2012 in return for $6.7 billion in cash and stock, and it paid almost $16 billion for the rest of the company.