From pharmacist to one of the most influential women

Ornella Barra is Co-Chief Operating Officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

Born in Italy, in Chiavari near Genoa, now of Monegasque nationality, Ornella graduated from the University of Genoa with a degree in pharmacy and embarked on a career in the healthcare sector. She started out as a pharmacist, first managing and then setting up her own pharmacy. In 1984 she founded the pharmaceutical wholesaler Di Pharma, which was then taken over by Alleanza Salute Italia.

Since then, she has held several roles and responsibilities, as member of the Boards of Directors of various companies (both listed and privately held) of the Group. These various transformation cycles led in 2014 to the creation of Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

More information about Walgreens Boots Alliance.  


Role and responsibilities

Ornella Barra’s current role, which she has held since June 2016, is Co-Chief Operating Officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. She oversees the Retail Pharmacy International Division businesses (outside the UK, Republic Of Ireland and the U.S.), the Pharmaceutical Wholesale Division, as well as Global Human Resources, Communications, Global IT function, Global Brands, CSR for the group and other business services for the company. 

She is therefore instrumental in many of the transformations affecting the company and the healthcare sector as a whole.

She also holds significant roles in various external organizations.