Stefano Pessina, 2010
June 4, 1941 |
|Alma mater||Polytechnic University of Milan|
|Net worth||US $13.7 billion (January 2017)|
|Title||Vice chairman and CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance|
|Term||2015 – present|
|Board member of||Walgreens Boots Alliance|
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Pessina (separated)|
|Partner(s)||Ornella Barra (life partner for over 30 years)|
Stefano Pessina (born June 4, 1941) is an Italian-born Monegasque billionaire businessman and the vice chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and the single largest shareholder of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
In 1977, he took over his family's pharmaceutical wholesaler in Naples and turned it into Alliance Santé, a Franco-Italian pharmaceutical wholesale group. In 1997, it merged with Alliance UniChem, and he joined its board of directors. From 2001 to 2004, he served as its CEO. He served as deputy chairman, and later as chairman.
Pessina was chairman of Alliance Boots from 2007 to 2014 and a director of Walgreens until August 2014. He is a director of Walgreens Boots Alliance. He is a director of the Consumer Goods Forum.
Pessina, though separated for 24 years, is still married to his wife, Barbara, and they have two adult children together. She is the cousin of the architect Richard Rogers. They met at university and married shortly thereafter. She still resides in Milan, in the palatial apartment where they brought up their two children.
He has also been the romantic partner of Ornella Barra for over 30 years. They met in 1985, as she was just beginning her career. She is 13 years his junior and shares his Monaco residence and work schedule, acting as co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
As of February 2015, he is worth US$11.4 billion, owning around 15% of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
His daughter, Elena, 41, lived in Paris and worked in public relations, before marrying an Italian lawyer in 2007.
His son Jacopo Pessina, 36, serves as Director M&A and Healthcare Innovation International at Walgreens Boots Alliance. Mr. Pessina is also a Co-founder and Developer of the Healthcare Innovation Platform and previously worked in global wealth management and investment banking at Merrill Lynch. He serves as a Member of Advisory Board at Metro Bank PLC.
UK Labour Party "catastrophe"
In a 31 January 2015 interview for The Sunday Telegraph, Pessina commented on the prospect of Britain's Labour Party winning the UK general election in May 2015, "If they acted as they speak, it would be a catastrophe ... The problem is would they act that way or not? One thing is to threaten and to shout but it is completely different to be in charge and to manage the country day-to-day." He described Labour’s business policies as "not helpful for business, not helpful for the country and in the end it probably won’t be helpful for them". The Sunday Telegraph noted that Pessina "declined to elaborate on which specific policies he disliked".
On Sunday 1 February, Labour's shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna, responded in The Independent, "The British people and British businesses will draw their own conclusions when those who don’t live here, don’t pay tax in this country and lead firms that reportedly avoid making a fair contribution in what they pay purport to know what is in Britain’s best interest." On 2 February, in a live Q&A session with Sky News, the Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said, "The chairman of Boots lives in Monaco and doesn't pay British taxes ... I don't think people should take kindly to being told how to vote by someone who avoids paying his taxes."
On 2 February, Walgreens Boots Alliance stated, "The comments made by Stefano Pessina were a small part of a much larger conversation and have been taken out of context ... Stefano Pessina was expressing his personal views only and is not campaigning against Ed Miliband or the Labour Party." On 6 February, Allister Heath, deputy editor of The Telegraph, described the "attacks" by Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians on Pessina, "one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs", as being "as nonsensical as they were indefensible".
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- Ruddick, Graham (31 January 2015). "Labour government will be catastrophic for Britain, warns Boots boss". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- Bawden, Tom (1 February 2015). "Boots boss Stefano Pessina (who lives in Monaco) branded a 'disgrace' for attack on Ed Miliband". The Independent. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- "SUBC: Miliband Attacks Boots Boss Over Tax". Sky News. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- Grice, Andrew (2 February 2015). "Ed Miliband: 'Boots boss Stefano Pessina should pay his taxes'". The Independent. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- Heath, Allister (6 February 2015). "These attacks against Stefano Pessina are unfair and must end". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 February 2015.