CVS Caremark Corp. has moved up Larry Merlo’s succession to chief executive officer to March 1.

CVS Caremark, CVS Caremark leadership, Larry Merlo, chief executive officer, CEO, Tom Ryan, nonexecutive chairman, Mike Bloom, Scott Baker, retail executives, CVS/pharmacy, Hank Mullany, CVS/pharmacy president, retail pharmacy operations, Terry Murray, David Dorman, pharmacy health care provider, pharmacy, drug store, Geoff Walden, drug store chain

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CVS Caremark leadership team evolves

February 14th, 2011

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS Caremark Corp. has moved up Larry Merlo’s succession to chief executive officer to March 1.

Merlo, who has been president and chief operating officer of CVS Caremark since last May, was due to succeed Tom Ryan as chief executive at the company’s annual meeting this May. Ryan will remain nonexecutive chairman until his retirement at the meeting.

CVS Caremark also announced that its two highest-ranking retail executives, Mike Bloom and Scott Baker, will jointly lead CVS/pharmacy on an interim basis following the withdrawal of the appointment of ex-Walmart executive Hank Mullany. Bloom and Baker will head the division while the company completes its search for a new CVS/pharmacy president.

Merlo’s earlier-than-expected promotion to chief executive was announced late last month, about a week after the company unveiled its plan to transition day-to-day responsibilities for its retail pharmacy operations.

“Since we announced our transition plan in May of last year, Larry and I have worked hard to successfully transition roles and responsibilities, and Larry is ready to be CEO,” says Ryan.

“After 37 years with our company and 16 years as president, I am more confident than ever that our assets along with our innovative products and services are lowering health care costs and improving outcomes. I am proud of all the work we have accomplished together and remain confident that this success will continue well into the future under Larry’s leadership.”

CVS Caremark lead director Terry Murray says that under Ryan’s leadership, the company “has evolved from a regional drug store chain with revenues of $5 billion in 1994 to the nation’s largest pharmacy health care provider with revenues approaching $100 billion. And along the way, Tom has built a culture focused on innovation, customer service and flawless execution. It is the culture Tom fostered over his 37-year tenure that differentiates CVS Caremark in the marketplace today.”

Merlo comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this company. As the nation’s premier integrated pharmacy health care provider, we have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. I look forward to continuing our positive momentum and to further enhancing the long-term value of our company. I’ve worked directly with Tom for the past 20 years, and I want to thank him for his mentoring and leadership and am confident we will continue to build on his legacy.”

Upon Ryan’s retirement, David Dorman will be named nonexecutive chairman. Dorman has been on the CVS Caremark board since 2006. Since May 2008 he has served as nonexecutive chairman of Motorola Inc. (which was recently renamed Motorola Solutions Inc. in connection with the separation of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.). He will transition to lead director of Motorola Solutions in May. He was chairman and chief executive of AT&T Corp. from November 2002 to November 2005.

At CVS/pharmacy, Bloom, executive vice president of merchandising and supply chain, and Baker, executive vice president of internal operations and real estate, will take over the management of the division’s 7,100 stores across the country.

Bloom has more than 30 years of retail experience, 20 of them with CVS/pharmacy. As the senior CVS/pharmacy executive with direct oversight for merchandising and supply chain activities, Bloom has led an integrated end-to-end network, managing store layout as well as the selection, purchasing, inventory and supply of product throughout the company’s retail locations, as well as managing the company’s visual merchandising and pricing departments. In addition to that role, he has assumed responsibility for advertising and marketing.

Baker, whose tenure with CVS/pharmacy spans more than 25 years, has held a variety of important senior roles, including senior vice president of retail operations and head of the company’s East retail field operations. A pharmacist by training, Baker has assumed responsibility for all of the company’s retail field organizations and pharmacy operations.

“As the company’s succession planning process moves forward and I have assumed more enterprisewide responsibilities, we made the decision to delegate the day-to-day operations of our retail business to two of our most senior retail executives,” states Merlo.

“What has remained clear throughout our search for a new president is that we are very fortunate to have a strong, stable group of senior leaders supporting our business,” he says. “This team of individuals has helped shape our direction and deliver industry-leading results and has consistently demonstrated the highest levels of leadership and teamwork. I expect this success to continue into the future as Mike and Scott lead the retail organization.”