Walgreens Boots Alliance SVP and global chief communications officer Aaron Radelet is leaving the retail pharmacy giant to pursue other opportunities.

He will be replaced by Beth Leonard, effective June 1, who is joining WBA from the EmblemHealth Family of Companies.

Walgreens is taking the opportunity to restructure its communications function, merging it with public affairs to create an integrated corporate affairs function headed by SVP and global chief public affairs officer Chuck Greener. Leonard will serve as CCO and report to Greener.

In a note to the company seen by PRWeek, WBA CEO Roz Brewer, to whom Radelet reported, said: “We are taking this moment to assess our future needs and implement an optimal organizational structure moving forward. The focus on healthcare continues to increase in prominence across our key stakeholders, including our customers, the media and government officials, and the close collaboration between communications and public affairs is more important than ever.”

At Emblem, Leonard headed internal and external communications, employee engagement, marketing, public relations, government relations, public policy, corporate philanthropy and community impact, digital strategy and social media.

Brewer paid tribute to Radelet’s contribution to WBA during his tenure: “In his four years with the company, Aaron has built a world-class communications function that has significantly grown our company’s reputation and created substantial value for our brands.

“Among his many contributions, Aaron led his team through the pandemic and ensured all our key stakeholders were aware of the phenomenal efforts of our pharmacists and team members during those very challenging times. His team’s work has been acknowledged far and wide with extensive awards and accolades, including PRWeek’s Purpose Awards Brand of the Year.”

Brewer added: “Aaron and I have worked closely together now for over two years, and I greatly appreciate everything that he and his team have achieved during his tenure.”

Prior to her seven years at EmblemHealth, Leonard was EVP, public affairs and strategic initiatives at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). While there, she led the full spectrum of communications and public affairs functions that elevated AHIP as the go-to voice on healthcare policy during debate and passage of the Affordable Care Act.

She also has a background in government relations at the American Cancer Society and extensive national political campaign experience, and early on was a White House press intern.

In a separate internal note to the company seen by PRWeek, Radelet said: “After developing and overseeing hundreds of communications for Walgreens Boots Alliance over the last four years, the time has come for me to write my last one. I’ve made the difficult decision to leave the company for other opportunities.”

Radelet was named to PRWeek’s inaugural Pride in PR list in 2021 and has been on PRWeek’s Power List. He was the executive sponsor of WBA’s LGBTQ business resource group.

He was named Global Professional: In-House at the 2021 PRWeek Global Awards and was chair of jury for the PRWeek Global Awards 2023.

He led external and internal communications across all of WBA, which he joined in July 2019, and subsequently oversaw the formation of the company’s first global communications team and strategic “reputation management” plan. 

Previously, Radelet served as Hilton Worldwide’s CCO and SVP, after being promoted from VP of global communications. He headed communications at the corporate level across Hilton’s 14 brands and 5,000 properties in 105 countries.

Earlier, at Sprint Nextel, he led communications for its entertainment division, including product PR for the largest sports sponsorship ever (the NASCAR Nextel Cup). At AOL Time Warner, Radelet managed the announcement of the new AOL for Mac OS X, as well as key initiatives with other AOL Time Warner divisions such as HBO, TNT and Time Warner Cable.

Prior to that, he was the main spokesperson for MicroStrategy, a high-profile global software developer. He began his career at Shandwick International with clients such as The White House, GM, Ford and Northwest Airlines. 

“I did not come to this decision lightly, and I leave with many great memories and experiences,” added Radelet in his note. “We have built an exceptional team of incredibly talented professionals, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished together.”

This article originally appeared on PRWeek US.