Walgreens froze pay for hundreds of executives for at least a year as it cuts $1.5B in costs

Drugstore chain Walgreens says it froze pay late last year for a few hundred senior executives as part of a cost-cutting plan.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. disclosed the move Wednesday in a conference call with analysts and investors.

A spokesman for Walgreens says the company raises pay annually in November, but decided in 2014 that senior leaders would not receive a pay increase. The company did not say if the freeze would extend beyond this year.

Since August Walgreens has announced plans to eliminate $1.5 billion in annual spending. The Deerfield, Illinois-based company said Wednesday that it will close about 200 stores.

Last year Walgreen completed its combination with Alliance Boots, which runs the largest pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom. It paid $16 billion for a 55 percent stake in the company.