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McKesson’s Longtime CEO Is Stepping Down. His Last Years Were Rocked by the Opioid Crisis

November 2, 2018, 10:31 PM UTC

John H. Hammergren, CEO of drug distributing giant McKesson for nearly two decades, is stepping down from his perch.

Hammergren’s replacement will be company president and chief operating officer Brian Tyler. “This is the right time to turn the leadership reins over to the next generation and no one is better equipped than Brian to lead McKesson into the future,” wrote Hammergren in a statement announcing his April 2019 retirement.

The departing chief executive’s record is spotted with both impressive financial successes and major controversies centered on the opioid addiction crisis. While Hammergren’s tenure has produced more than 400% in shareholder returns, in the past few years, it’s also been the subject of intense scrutiny for its alleged part in aggressively pushing sales of addictive painkillers, including dozens of lawsuits by states and locales ravaged by the scourge and Congressional inquiries.

Those controversies led to some outcry over Hammergren’s compensation and bonuses. His retirement package is reportedly worth $114 million.

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