By Conlan, Michael F
Drug Topics , Vol. 143, No. 4
Ronald L. Ziegler, the former White House press secretary who raised the profile of chain pharmacy nationally and internationally through an era of industry consolidation and growth, is retiring as head of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Ziegler, 59, said in a statement Jan. 28 that he would leave within two years to pursue personal interests. A four-member search committee from the NACDS board of directors has begun to hunt for an heir and is expected to discuss its preliminary findings privately at the NACDS annual meeting in late April in Palm Beach, Fla.
"I am proud of what we have accomplished during my 11 years as president and CEO of NACDS, and I've lost none of the zest and enthusiasm with which I've always approached everything I've done, including the business of the chain drug industry," said Ziegler. "But those who know me best know that it has long been my objective to retire in my early 60s in order to spend more time with my family and pursue some of the matters of personal interest that have long occupied my thoughts." He said he would be involved in the selection of his successor, serve through a transition period, and leave no later than December 2000.
Ziegler came to NACDS from the National Association of Truck Stop Owners in 1988 to succeed Robert J. Bolger. The association then had 170 members operating 20,000 pharmacies. Today, due largely to mergers and acquisitions, membership has shrunk to 130, but the members own 31,000 stores with annual sales of more than $135 billion and employ 93,000 pharmacists. Associate memberships have climbed from 600 to 1,400 under Ziegler; staff increased from 28 to 130; and revenue quadrupled to more than $25 million annually. …