Mr Birch, who joined the company on Monday (July 1), formerly held the position of retail pharmacy operations director at Boots. Prior to that, he held various management roles at WHSmith, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He will be taking over from Nigel Swift, who will leave the business “later this year” after almost 20 years service, McKesson UK announced yesterday (July 4).
McKesson CEO Toby Anderson said Mr Birch has joined the business “at a time when the pharmacy industry faces a lot of change and that gives us an exciting opportunity to do things differently”.
“Our retail business has faced many challenges recently, which means we've had to adapt and refocus,” he said.
“Bricks and mortar pharmacies, rooted in communities, will always be a huge part of our business.
“As we respond to changing consumer habits...we need to make sure...our services are even more accessible and convenient. Having someone with Kevin's experience and vision onboard will help us do that.”
“Compelling omni-channel offering”
In his new role, Mr Birch will be responsible for all UK retail operations, including Lloydspharmacy and John Bell & Croyden, McKesson UK's high-end pharmacy in central London.
Mr Birch described McKesson UK's vision for the future of community pharmacy as being “perfectly aligned” with his own.
“We have an opportunity to create a truly compelling omni-channel offering for our customers and patients, with retail pharmacy at the heart of it,” he added.
Nigel Swift's “enormous contribution”
Commenting on Mr Swift’s departure, Mr Anderson said he made “an enormous contribution” to McKesson and “led the retail team through a very difficult period”.
Most notably, Mr Swift oversaw the integration of the Sainsbury’s pharmacy business into Lloydspharmacy in 2016.