Career highlights

  • 2016


    In June 2016 Ornella Barra is appointed as Co-Chief Operating Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance. In this role she oversees the Retail Pharmacy International Division businesses outside the UK and Republic Of Ireland and 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. 

    In August 2016, Walgreens Boots Alliance exercises second tranche of warrants to purchase AmerisourceBergen common stock, reaching almost 24% of share ownership. The net earnings attributable to this investment are classified within the operating income of the company’s Pharmaceutical Wholesale segment ran by Ornella Barra.

  • 2014


    Alliance Boots signs an agreement to acquire Farmacias Ahumada (“FASA”). The acquisition comprises two main businesses: Farmacias Benavides in Mexico and Farmacias Ahumada in Chile. The acquisition  presents the opportunity to introduce the Group’s famous skincare and cosmetics ranges that are so popular in many countries

    On 31 December 2014, Walgreens and Alliance Boots completed Step 2 of their strategic partnership to form Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA), finalizing the two-step merger launched in 2012 to create the world’s first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Ornella Barra is Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President and Chief Executive of Global Wholesale and International Retail.

  • 2013


    Alliance Boots reaches 100% ownership of Hedef Alliance in Turkey and its German business, Andreae-Noris Zahn AG (“ANZAG”), which later re-brands to Alliance Healthcare Deutschland

    Ornella plays a key role in Alliance Boots and Walgreens innovative long term partnership with AmerisourceBergen, one of North America’s largest pharmaceutical services companies

  • 2012


    Ornella plays a leading role in the landmark strategic partnership between Alliance Boots and Walgreen Co. (Walgreens), the largest drug store chain in the US.

    In the same year, Alliance Boots announces an agreement to take a 12% holding in Nanjing Pharmaceutical Company Limited, China’s fifth largest pharmaceutical wholesaler by sales.

  • 2008


    Ornella is instrumental is Alliance Boots first expansion into China, helping to lead the creation of a joint venture with Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corporation, which at the time was fourth largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in China.

  • 2006


    Ornella is appointed board member and Wholesale & Commercial Affairs Director of Alliance Boots plc, formed out of the merger between Alliance UniChem Plc and Boots Group PLC. When the company is taken private the following year, she becomes Chief Executive, Pharmaceutical Wholesale Division and later Chief Executive, Wholesale and Brands.

  • 1997


    Ornella is appointed as board member and Executive Director of Alliance UniChem Plc, after a merger between UniChem and Alliance Santé.

  • 1990


    Ornella is personally involved in establishing Alliance Santé, an international pharmaceutical company, and joins its board.

  • 1986


    Ornella is appointed Managing Director of Alleanza Salute Italia, which later became Italy’s leading pharmaceutical wholesaler operating nationwide.

  • 1984


    Ornella founds pharmaceutical wholesaler Di Pharma in Italy, several years after graduating from the University of Genoa and setting up her own pharmacy.