Current CVS CEO, Larry Merlo is retiring, and the company’s board has picked a new chief executive, Karen Lynch. Supermarket News reports:
Plans call for Lynch to take the CEO reins on Feb. 1, 2021, and join the CVS board of directors. At that time, Merlo will shift to a strategic adviser role to help in the leadership transition, CVS said. He also will continue to serve on the board until the next CVS annual shareholders meeting in May 2021. Merlo is slated to officially retire on May 31, 2021.
“Karen is a seasoned health care 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, all of which position her well for success,” CVS Health Chairman David Dorman said in a statement. “Our board of directors believes that Karen is the right leader to guide CVS Health into its next era of growth as the company continues its transformation.”
Lynch (left) joined CVS in November 2018 upon the closing of the company’s $70 billion merger with Aetna. She retained her post as Aetna president, which she held since January 2015, and added the title of executive vice president at CVS Health.
In her current role, Lynch leads Aetna’s strategy to deliver consumer-focused health care services and oversees the development of diversified enterprise health care solutions that leverage CVS Health’s assets, which include retail, specialty and long-term care pharmacies; in-store clinics; and over-the-counter health care products. Before coming to Aetna in 2012, she was president of Magellan Health Services and held various senior executive positions at health insurer Cigna.
“This leadership transition comes at the right time for CVS Health. This month marks the two-year anniversary as one company, with our foundation clearly established and significant positive momentum across the company,” according to Dorman. “As Larry has been transparent with us about his overall plans, we were able to put a thorough, multiyear process in place to consider and evaluate internal and external candidates. That process led to the selection of Karen Lynch. Larry’s collaboration with Karen in the coming months will ensure an effective leadership transition.”
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