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Karen Lynch takes the helm at CVS Health

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health said Monday that Karen Lynch has assumed the position of president and chief executive officer at the company. In her new role, she will lead nearly 300,000 colleagues who are passionate about transforming health care to be simpler, more convenient and more personalized.

Karen Lynch

Karen Lynch


As previously announced, Lynch is replacing Larry Merlo, who will be retiring. Merlo began his career with the company as a community pharmacist more than 40 years ago and served as president and CEO for a decade. Merlo will continue to serve on CVS Health’s board of directors until the company’s next Annual Meeting of Stockholders in May 2021, and as strategic advisor to assist with the transition until his retirement on May 31.

She has more than three decades of experience in the health care industry. Prior to becoming CEO, she was executive vice president, CVS Health and president of Aetna, responsible for driving the strategy to deliver consumer-focused, high-value health care to the millions of people Aetna serves. For the last five years, she has been named among Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business, and in 2020, she was recognized on Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

Lynch will focus on accelerating the progress we’ve made to meet the evolving health needs of consumers. Under her leadership, CVS Health will create even more connected experiences across our unique combination of assets — including more than 9,900 pharmacies and over 1,000 MinuteClinic and HealthHUB locations — for every meaningful moment of health in a person’s lifetime. Her most immediate priorities include leading our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, improving the health of communities across the country, and driving meaningful social and policy change.


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