Ex-CFO Sues Walgreen Over Reports He Was Forced Out

Former Walgreen Co. finance chief Wade Miquelon sued the drugstore giant for defamation over news stories saying he was pressured to resign after a “bungled” earnings forecast.

Miquelon, 49, sued Walgreen today in state court in Chicago, claiming Chief Executive Officer Gregory Wasson and director Stefano Pessina, the company’s biggest shareholder, made false, disparaging comments about him to a Wall Street Journal reporter after he stepped down as CFO Aug. 4.

Miquelon said the executives’ defamatory remarks led to two stories claiming he made a calculation error that caused a $1.1 billion reduction in the company’s fiscal 2016 earnings forecast.

As a result of the reports, Miquelon said, he lost opportunities to work as a chief financial officer for another Fortune 100 company. Miquelon said he had been considered to serve as CFO and president of “a major global retailer.”

Miquelon’s decision to leave the company was personal, and he desired to seek other opportunities after an “outstanding” six years, according to the complaint.

He’s seeking unspecified damages and an order barring Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreen, the biggest U.S. pharmacy chain by revenue, from disparaging him. Miquelon also wants a court declaration that he wasn’t personally responsible for the error and that he wasn’t forced out of the company.

Emily Hartwig, a Walgreen spokeswoman, said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

The case is Miquelon v. Walgreen Co., 14-ch-16825, Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court (Chicago).

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