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Walgreens-Backed VillageMD Appoints Jim Murray as New President

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

April 16, 2024

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Prior to his role at Centene, Murray held leadership positions at Magellan Health, a prominent behavioral health organization acquired by Centene in 2022.

VillageMD, the primary care clinic chain backed by Walgreens, has appointed Jim Murray, a former executive at Centene, as its new president and chief operating officer (COO). 

Murray's extensive experience in the healthcare industry, particularly in managed care and operations, positions him to lead VillageMD's strategic initiatives and operational advancements.

Murray served as chief operating officer and chief transformation officer at Centene, overseeing operations for an insurer catering to over 27.5 million managed care lives. 

Prior to his role at Centene, Murray held leadership positions at Magellan Health, a prominent behavioral health organization acquired by Centene in 2022.

In a statement, Tim Barry, CEO & chair of VillageMD, praised Murray's appointment, highlighting his track record as an "operations leader" and emphasizing the company's commitment to enhancing its position within the care delivery system. 

Barry said, "Jim will help advance us to [the] next level of clinical, financial, and operational performance."

Regarding his new role, Murray expressed enthusiasm for VillageMD's mission to transform healthcare. 

"VillageMD is on an exciting trajectory to transform healthcare. I’m looking forward to working with the innovative teams dedicated to helping patients live longer and healthier lives in the communities Village serves," the new president stated.

Strategic Review Amid Restructuring Efforts

Murray's appointment is pivotal for VillageMD, as its parent company, Walgreens, embarks on a strategic review of its business operations. This review includes an assessment of the role of its retail pharmacy stores alongside its healthcare assets, such as VillageMD.

Walgreens' significant investments in VillageMD, totaling $6.2 billion, have positioned the drugstore chain as the majority owner with a 63% stake in the primary care company. 

However, recent developments indicate a shift in focus, with VillageMD scaling back its footprint.

According to Walgreens CEO Tim Wentworth, VillageMD is closing 160 clinics, including the previously announced closure of 60 underperforming clinics. 

Additionally, VillageMD has already exited several markets, including Florida, Indiana, Chicago, Boston, Rhode Island, and Las Vegas.

Financial Implications & Market Presence

The restructuring efforts coincide with Walgreens' fiscal performance, as reflected in its second-quarter earnings report for 2024. The report highlights a substantial loss attributed to a nearly $6 billion write-down in the value of its investment in VillageMD.

Despite the financial setback, VillageMD remains a significant player in the healthcare landscape, particularly following its acquisition of Summit Health-CityMD in 2022. 

This acquisition, valued at close to $9 billion, solidified VillageMD's position as one of the largest independent provider groups in the United States, operating over 680 provider locations across 26 markets.

Murray's Extensive Healthcare Background

As a result of Murray's appointment, VillageMD continues to emphasize its focus on leveraging the expertise of various sectors within the healthcare industry. 

With a career spanning 28 years at Humana, where he held executive roles focused on Medicare, Medicaid, commercial, and Tricare, Murray brings a comprehensive understanding of managed care and care delivery dynamics.

During his tenure at Humana, Murray played a pivotal role in the organization's expansion, contributing to its growth into a national entity serving more than 17 million Americans.

VillageMD's appointment of Jim Murray signals a strategic move to bolster its operational capabilities and navigate evolving market dynamics within the healthcare sector. 

Further, Murray's extensive experience and leadership qualities position him to drive VillageMD's continued growth and impact in delivering high-quality care to communities across the United States.


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