Cosby ready to lead retail biz
As of Oct. 1, Mark Cosby officially stepped into the role of president of CVS/pharmacy. Cosby’s new stint at 1 CVS Dr. is a far cry from his prior role as president of Macy’s stores. But Cosby’s reputation as an innovator is bound to tie in nicely with the Woonsocket, R.I.-based trailblazer.
As president, Cosby will have responsibility for all aspects of the company’s retail business, including its more than 7,200 retail stores, 19 distribution centers and e- commerce site, as well as retail merchandising, supply chain, marketing, real estate, front store and pharmacy operations.
Prior to joining Macy’s in 2006, Cosby served as president of full-line stores for Sears Roebuck & Co., and earlier as COO of KFC. While at KFC, Cosby initiated the co-branded stores with two eateries under the same roof.
Visionary Foulkes assumes new position
Helena Foulkes, one of the brightest, fastest-rising stars of the retail pharmacy industry for more than a decade, earlier this year assumed the newly created position of EVP and chief healthcare strategy and marketing officer.
This role undoubtedly is significant as she is charged with bringing together the company’s capabilities in enterprise branding, com- munications, community relations, charitable giving, healthcare-reform strategy, government relations and marketing into one integrated organization in an effort to deliver even better business results and stronger partnerships.
Building on her previous role as chief marketing executive of both retail pharmacy and the pharmacy benefit manager, Foulkes brings insight from sales and operations into her new role to engage an even broader array of external stakeholders.
She is widely regarded as one of the most visionary marketers in modern drug store retailing, even a bit of a retail prodigy in a sense, given that she was just 35 years old when she took on the massive challenge of building what has become one of the most successful loyalty programs in all of retailing — from scratch. Today, the ExtraCare loyalty program boasts more than 67 million active members.
Foulkes joined CVS Caremark in 1992 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in the retail pharmacy, PBM and corporate areas.
Merlo takes the helm
CVS Caremark’s annual meeting of shareholders in May was of special importance as it marked the official retirement of former chairman and CEO Tom Ryan, who left the growing company in the hands of a strong, capable new leader — Larry Merlo.
“I’m passing [the company over] to a great leader, one whom I respect and who knows this business. Larry will take this company to great heights,” Ryan told shareholders in May.
The decision to select Merlo as the new CEO came as little surprise, as he has played a key role in the evolution of the company and has an impressive track record of integrating major acquisitions. Under Merlo’s leadership, CVS completed some of the most successful acquisitions in the history of retail pharmacy — including Longs Drug stores, Osco/Sav-on, Eckerd and Revco — and delivered significant organic growth in major markets across the country.
Merlo, a pharmacist by training with more than 30 years in pharmacy health, joined CVS/pharmacy in 1990 through the company’s acquisition of People’s Drug. He began his career in chain pharmacy in 1978 with People’s Drug in Washington, D.C.
Prior to being named president and COO in May 2010, Merlo served as EVP of the company and president of CVS/pharmacy retail operations, overseeing a portfolio of more than 7,000 CVS/pharmacy locations.
“After more than 20 years, I know this organization, its values and our people’s passion for serving our customers,” Merlo said. “We are building on a strong foundation. CVS Caremark is the leader in providing integrated pharmacy health care. No one else has our combination of the largest chain of retail stores, a leading PBM, the fastest-growing retail health clinics and a strong track record of healthcare innovation.”