McKesson Exec Mark Walchirk Named CEO of Patterson Cos.
A McKesson Corporation executive will be taking over Patterson Companies, effective November 20, replacing James Wiltz who has been interim CEO of the St. Paul-based dental and veterinary products maker since June.
Mark Walchirk, formerly the president of McKesson’s largest sales division, U.S. pharmaceutical, was chosen after a “thorough search,” said John Buck, chairman of Patterson’s board, in a statement.
“Mark has a proven track record of success in helping a large and complex market leader navigate through an evolving and dynamic environment to achieve growth,” Buck continued. “Patterson will benefit from his customer-first mindset, focus on operational excellence, and ability to develop unique solutions to create value for our partners, customers, and shareholders.”
Walchirk, age 51, spent 16 years at the health services company McKesson, the fifth-largest business in America based on revenue. For the last five years, Walchirk was in charge of the over 7,500 employees within McKesson’s U.S. pharmaceutical division. The business unit distributes branded, generic and over-the-counter drugs to upwards of 40,000 customers. Prior to that, Walchirk spent over a decade working medical-surgical distribution and manufacturing roles at Baxter Healthcare, Allegiance Healthcare and Encompass Group.
Upon joining Patterson, Walchirk will start with an annual salary of $850,000, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Additionally, per Walchirk’s employee agreement, he will immediately earn a $100,000 signing bonus and $2 million in Patterson shares, among other employee benefits.
In a statement, Walchirk said he was “honored and excited” to be joining Patterson officially next month. “Patterson is a great company with a proud history,” he said, “and an extraordinary opportunity to leverage its position in its markets to deliver great service and solutions.”
On top of taking over as CEO, Walchirk will also join Patterson’s board, expanding its list of members from eight to nine.
Board chairman Buck, in his statement, also thanked Jim Wiltz for his nearly six-month-long return to the company’s top leadership role. Wiltz spent half a decade—from 2005 to 2010—in the CEO chair at Patterson. He stepped into the top role once again during the summer after Patterson and its then-CEO Scott Anderson “mutually determined that now [was] the time for a new leader.”
Patterson Companies was a surprise addition to the Fortune 500 list this year. Many expected Minnesota’s presence would shrink on the coveted list, which ranks companies by revenue, after St. Jude Medical’s sale to Abbott. Instead, due to the timing of the acquisition’s finalization, St. Jude remained on the list and Patterson became the first new entry out of Minnesota in years.
Currently, Minnesota plays home to 18 Fortune 500 companies.
In its last fiscal year, Patterson reported $5.6 billion in revenue and a staff of 6,890 employees.