Merlo officially takes helm at CVS

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As previously announced and widely reported, March 1 marks the day that Larry Merlo officially assumes the role of CEO of CVS Caremark. Merlo, who now serves as president and CEO, succeeds Tom Ryan, who remains nonexecutive chairman until his retirement at the company's annual meeting of shareholders in May.

Upon Ryan's retirement as chairman in May, the company intends to elect CVS Caremark board member David Dorman as the next nonexecutive chairman at the 2011 annual meeting. Dorman has been on the CVS Caremark board of directors since 2006.

"After more than 20 years, I know this organization, its values and our people's passion for serving our customers," Merlo stated. "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 [pharmacy benefit manager], the fastest-growing retail health clinics and a strong track record of healthcare innovation."

"We are now focused on delivering the promise of our integrated pharmacy healthcare model. We will more fully leverage our unique combination of assets by maximizing the potential of our pharmacy benefit management business, sustaining our retail leadership, continuing innovation to create new healthcare solutions and more consistently delivering financial and operational excellence," Merlo added. "The entire CVS Caremark team is committed to delivering these results."

Merlo, a pharmacist by training with more than 30 years in pharmacy health, joined CVS/pharmacy in 1990 through the company's acquisition of Peoples Drug. 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.