Stepping down from the company's most senior position will help it to “drive further progress on its key strategic priorities and to transform the business for the future to address the rapidly-evolving healthcare sector,” the company said.
No replacement has been announced yet but when a successor is found, Mr Pessina will become executive chairman of the health and beauty giant's board of directors – replacing the current holder of that position, James Skinner – Walgreen Boots Alliance said.
Mr Skinner, who has been executive chairman since 2015, will “remain on the board to facilitate a smooth leadership transition”.
Commenting on the change in leadership, Mr Skinner said it has been an “enormous privilege” to work with Mr Pessina, the board of directors and other employees during his time as executive chairman.
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity, as well as the chance to continue to serve as a board member in the future. Together, we have built our company into a global leader in retail and wholesale pharmacy,” he added.