|Born||December 1953 (age 65)|
|Alma mater||University of Genoa|
|Title||Co-chief operating officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance|
Ornella Barra (born December 1953) is an Italian-born Monegasque businesswoman. A qualified pharmacist, she is co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance. She has been the partner of the Italian billionaire Stefano Pessina for over 30 years. Ornella was ranked 27th in Fortune Magazine’s 2018 most powerful women in business for female executives outside the United States.
Ornella Barra was born in December 1953 in Chiavari, Genoa, northwest Italy, into a family of entrepreneurs. Having graduated as a pharmacist from the University of Genoa in 1979, began her career as a manager of a pharmacy which she then acquired.
After building up a regional pharmaceutical distribution company, Di Pharma, she sold the business to Alleanza Salute Italia (now Alliance Healthcare Italia), a firm founded and managed by Italian entrepreneur Stefano Pessina. The company later grew to become Italy's leading pharmaceutical wholesaler. He and Barra became partners both personally and professionally, sharing a house in Monaco. During this time, Barra also contributed to the creation of Alliance Santé, the Franco-Italian group with interests spanning Europe, and was made a board member in 1990. Following Alliance Santé's merger with UniChem in 1997, she became a board member and Executive Director of Alliance Unichem.
Barra is co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, a firm created through the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014. Within the firm, she oversees the Retail Pharmacy International Division businesses outside the UK and Republic of Ireland, the Pharmaceutical Wholesale Division, as well as Global Human Resources, Global Communications, Global IT function, Global Brands, CSR for the group and other business services for the company.
Barra is an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham's School of Pharmacy, where she lectures on the internationalisation of pharmacy business and issues of corporate social responsibility. She is also a member of the external advisory board for the school's activity at the University's Malaysia Campus.
Barra founded, and is an executive director of the European Pharmacists Forum. She is a member of the board of directors of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), and became chairman in October 2014. She was president of Associazione Distributori Farmaceutici (ADF) (association of pharmaceutical distributors) from 2006 to 2009. She became an executive member of ECR Europe (Efficient Consumer Response) in 2007.
In April 2013, Barra was appointed to the board of directors of Assicurazioni Generali, Italy's largest insurance company.
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