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CVS taps former Macy’s exec

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp. has enlisted a retail operations veteran to head the nation’s second-largest drug store business.

CVS Caremark Corp. has enlisted a retail operations veteran to head the nation’s second-largest drug store business.

Mark Cosby, who was formerly president of stores at Macy’s Inc., has been named president of CVS/pharmacy. Plans call for Cosby to start in the new position on October 1.

The 52-year-old Cosby fills the vacancy created when CVS Caremark promoted Larry Merlo to president and chief operating officer in May 2010 and designated him to become chief executive officer the following year, succeeding the retiring Tom Ryan.

As CVS/pharmacy president, Cosby will oversee CVS Caremark’s retail drug store business, which encompasses more than 7,200 stores in 41 states and 19 distribution centers. He also has responsibility for retail merchandising, supply chain, marketing, real estate, front-end and pharmacy operations, as well as the CVS e-commerce site.

"I am looking forward to this exciting new role," Cosby said in a statement. "My passion for the customer and broad retail experience have helped to prepare me for this, and I am honored to lead this talented team of retail executives."

Cosby expressed enthusiasm for CVS’ role as a convenient provider of health care products and services. "What makes CVS/pharmacy extraordinary is its unique ability to improve the lives of millions of Americans by providing easy, innovative solutions and personalized pharmacy health care at their neighborhood drug store," he commented. "I am committed to driving profitable growth and furthering our retail leadership position."

Most recently, Cosby was Macy’s president of stores, serving in that position since February 2009. In that role he was responsible for all of Macy’s store operations and support functions nationwide, as well as overseeing the department store retailer’s locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Before that, he was president and COO of New York-based Macy’s East beginning in May 2007 (prior to June 1, 2007, Macy’s Inc. was known as Federated Department Stores Inc.). He joined the corporate office in July 2006 as senior vice president for property development.

Prior to joining Macy’s, Cosby was president of full-line stores at Sears Roebuck & Co., and earlier he was COO of KFC Corp. and chief development officer of Yum Brands Inc., the restaurant company that was spun off from PepsiCo. He began his career as a financial analyst at General Foods Corp.

"We’re delighted that Mark is joining our team," stated Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark. "His valuable experience at major retailers in operations and strategic planning makes him an excellent choice to lead our retail business going forward. I am confident that Mark will bring a strong vision, great energy and new ideas to CVS/pharmacy as we continue to refine our model and introduce innovations that position us for ongoing success and industry leadership."

Merlo, the previous CVS/pharmacy president, was officially named as CVS Caremark’s CEO in late January and took the helm at the company in March.

CVS Caremark had planned to hire former Walmart executive Hank Mullany as CVS/pharmacy president, announcing the move in early December. But in the wake of a legal challenge by Walmart, which claimed Mullany’s hiring would violate a noncompete agreement, CVS Caremark in January said it would not proceed with the appointment.

In the interim CVS Caremark had named Mike Bloom, executive vice president of merchandising and supply chain, and Scott Baker, executive vice president of internal operations and real estate, to lead CVS/pharmacy. At the time, they were the company’s two highest-ranking retail executives. Before Bloom and Baker took on that responsibility, Merlo had continued to oversee CVS/pharmacy during the search for a president.


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