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Well Pharmacy appoints jewellers chief to CEO as John Nuttall retires

John Nuttall has led the business since 2002
John Nuttall has led the business since 2002

John Nuttall will retire as CEO of Well Pharmacy in September, to be replaced by the president of a diamond retailer.

After 17 years in the role, Mr Nuttall will leave Well Pharmacy to spend more time with his family and “transition into future non-executive director roles”, the multiple announced today (June 26).

He will be replaced by Seb Hobbs, who will join the business as “designate CEO” from July 22, working alongside Mr Nuttall, before taking over as CEO on September 30.

Mr Nuttall has led the business – under both its Co-operative Pharmacy and Well guises – since 2002 and has worked in pharmacy for more than 32 years, so “is a very familiar and friendly face across the industry and will be dearly missed”, Well said.

Most significantly, Mr Nuttall oversaw the rebranding of the Co-operative Pharmacy as Well, after it was bought by wholesaler Bestway in 2014.

More recently, Well Pharmacy has digitally transformed the business, including launching an online prescription service, a prescription delivery app and hub-and-spoke dispensing.


Mr Hobbs is currently president and chief customer officer of Signet Jewellers, the world’s largest diamond retailer. He has also held senior retail roles with Blacks Leisure, WHSmith and Storehouse, Well explained.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Hobbs said he is looking forward to “helping Well grow in digital and through new ventures”, as well as its “core retail business”.

What do you think of Well's current business strategy?

R A, Community pharmacist

Selecting Seb as CEO is not so different then Bestway buying into the pharmacy business with zero experience! Bestway is a very successful convenience store wholesaler they should have stuck to what they know. ​

Michael Achiampong, Community pharmacist

Well, this is a surprise. But good luck to you Mr Nuttall. I agree with the other comments: why would you leave the world's largest jewellery business for the more challenging unpredictable world of pharmacy. Surely the business would do better with a ceo much more familiar with a healthcare background? Why haven't Well promoted from within?

Health has become aspirational in the same way diamonds are forever. Could be a very smart man in the right place at the right time, watch this space

Pamela Smyth, Community pharmacist

Glad I got out when I did. Being told what to do by someone who has never worked in pharmacy before.... would have driven me insane!

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

Probably just biding his time until now since good pension etc unlike his staff who final only salary was one of the first thing to go in the cut backs and best not to rock the boat when you can get great pay off when you leave.

Good business sense

N B, Community pharmacist


Chemical Mistry, Information Technology



Time will tell if Mr Hobbs is the right choice​ since if look at track record of the companies he has been in charge Blacks went bust I think WHSmith only improved now and still not out of the woods since nobody buys papers, books = amazon etc Storehouse went bust i think , so not greatest track record. And would think there is not a long list business leaders wanting to enter the pharmacy world if they did their research unless loads of mooola.

Also why would you leave the largest diamond retailer unless your numbers up there?



Leon The Apothecary, Student

Interestingly, WHSmiths has been adding Well products in their stores around airports/stations.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Personally, I thought John's expectations should have been better.

C A, Community pharmacist

I don't follow you Leon?

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