CVS Health names new chief executive officer

CVS Health names new chief executive officer
Karen Lynch is currently executive vice president of CVS Health and president of its Aetna business

9 November 2020 - Deborah Wilkes

CVS Health will have a new chief executive officer from 1 February 2021.

The US-based pharmacy and health services company has named Karen Lynch – currently executive vice president of CVS Health and president of Aetna – as its next president and chief executive officer.

Lynch will take over from Larry Merlo who began his career with the company as a community pharmacist more than 40 years ago, and has been president and chief executive officer for a decade.

CVS Health said Merlo would continue to serve on its board until the company’s next Annual Meeting of Stockholders in May 2021, and would assist with the transition until his retirement on 31 May 2021.

"Seasoned healthcare expert"

David Dorman, chair of CVS Health’s board, said Lynch was a “seasoned healthcare expert who knows our business”. “She brings a relentless focus on the customer, a strong track record of driving growth and innovation, and proven transformational leadership,” he added.

Lynch has spent eight years with Aetna. She previously worked for Magellan Health Services, a diversified health services company, and Cigna.

CVS Health pointed out that Merlo had overseen its transformation from a “regional retail pharmacy into the nation’s leading diversified health services company, with over USD250 billion in revenues”.

Merlo had led the “industry-disrupting” acquisition of Aetna in 2018, added the company, as well as the decision to eliminate the sale of tobacco products from all CVS Pharmacy stores, which was “widely credited with being a catalyst for the reduction in smoking levels in the US”.

CVS Health's latest financial results

In the first nine months of 2020, CVS Health reported sales of USD199 billion, up 4.9% compared to the same period a year earlier.

The company’s Retail/LTC business recorded sales up by 4.9% to USD67.1 billion.

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