Despite being only 42, Hornby has a considerable amount of executive experience under his belt, having held the position of chief executive at troubled banking group HBOS, and was first touted as a potential Boots CEO a few years ago.
The appointment marks his return to retail, having held the position of managing director at George, the clothing division of UK supermarket chain Asda.
Hornby will be reporting directly to executive chairman Stefano Pessina, who stressed the fact that the combination of his retail and marketing experience would be the ideal complement to the executive board’s existing expertise.
“His collaborative approach aligns with our values, culture, and team spirit… and will enable me to dedicate even more of my time to the development and growth of Alliance Boots,” said Pessina.
The appointment of Hornby has caused some controversy as HBOS was under his leadership when the bank came to the brink of collapse at the end of last year.