Former Shoppers Drug Mart president Jürgen Schreiber is back in the pharmacy store business.
On Thursday, Schreiber was appointed CEO of Rexall Health.
Rexall Health, a new banner of the Edmonton-based Katz Group, is made up of three businesses, the most prominent of which is Rexall and Pharma Plus drugstores, of which there are more than 460 across Canada with 8,600 staff.
Other parts of Rexall Health include Medicentres, a set of health-care clinics in Edmonton, Calgary, London and Windsor; and Claimsecure, which sells health-care management to corporations and health benefit plan sponsors.
Schreiber became president of Shoppers Drug Mart in 2007 and led the company through several years of impressive growth, notably adding more private label products to Shoppers' stores.
He resigned abruptly in January 2011 after a public battle with Ontario's then health minister Deb Matthews. Shreiber was irked over the province's cancellation of payments that Shoppers and other drugstores received from generic drug makers. He warned that the loss of revenue would hurt Shoppers Drug Mart's ability to provide pharmacy service to its customers.
Schreiber's most recent job was president and CEO of Edcon Group, billed as the largest non-food retailer in South Africa with 1,400 stores and 20,000 employees in Africa.
Officials with Katz did not make Schreiber available for an interview on Thursday.
But in a press statement, he said he was attracted to the job “by Rexall’s obvious strength in the Canadian market.”
Bringing all of Katz’s health businesses under the Rexall brand “creates additional growth opportunities to bundle services to meet the needs of our customers,” he added.
Schreiber will join Rexall in August.
Katz's drugstore side has been without a CEO since last October when Frank Scorpiniti resigned to become the head of Earth Fare, a natural and organic foods retailer in the U.S. Scorpiniti had also been CEO of the Katz Group.
Rexall and Pharma Plus has been run day to day since then by the company's chief operating officer, Warren Jeffery. A spokesperson for Katz told Canadian Grocer that Jeffery will continue to run the drugstore chain until Schreiber starts.
In addition to his time at Shoppers Drug Mart and Edcon, Schreiber has had a lengthy career in consumer packaged goods in some 23 countries in Europe and Asia. He holds an MBA in business administration from the University of Mannheim in Germany.
In a statement Thursday, Daryl Katz, chairman of the Katz Group, said that Schreiber brings “world-class expertise” and a “deep knowledge of the Canadian health and pharmacy sector” to Rexall.