The remaining members of the Celesio UK Board will manage the business while a successor is sought, said a statement, reporting to Brian Tyler, chairman of the management board of McKesson Europe.

Celesio UK has “a strong and experienced management team” in the form of Nigel Swift, Hilary Stables, Ruth Poole, Catherine McDermott and Marcus Hilger, said Mr Tyler.

He commented: “Cormac has been an energetic and trusted leader of our UK and Ireland businesses. He has built a strong leadership team for Celesio UK and his warm and engaging personality made him many friends across community pharmacy and beyond. There is a genuine affection for him amongst our colleagues who value his ability to understand customers and patients and put them at the heart of everything we do.”

“I am grateful for the dedication that Cormac has shown over the last few years and his leadership through an ever-changing external environment. I wish him every success for the future,” he said.

“Together with the entire business in the UK, this leadership team will be able to successfully navigate current and future challenges that the company faces.”

Last week, in a surprise announcement, LloydsPharmacy said that it will close or sell approximately 190 of its stores in England. Parent company Celesio UK blamed the necessity of the closures on recent funding changes, and said it would do ‘all it could’ to support staff and patients who will be affected.

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