Veteran chain drug exec to enter department store arena
HBC said Monday that Foulkes is slated to begin in the new role on Feb. 19. At CVS, she currently serves as a corporate executive vice president as well as president of the CVS Pharmacy drug chain.
“HBC has an amazing portfolio of retail banners, valuable real estate and an innovative approach to M&A that give it the ability to win. The future of retail will be defined by companies that think creatively about where the consumer and the world are headed,” Foulkes said in a statement. “I look forward to working with this great team and listening deeply to them and to our partners to build upon strategies that capitalize on HBC’s physical and digital assets and deepen our core operating effectiveness. I am honored to join this iconic company.”
As CEO of HBC, Foulkes will oversee theToronto-based company’s global strategy and operations for all banners, including more than 66,000 associates worldwide across a portfolio of more than 480 stores, related e-commerce platforms, supply chain, logistics and technology.
Foulkes also will be appointed to HBC’s board of directors when she joins the company. Richard Baker, who has been acting interim CEO, will continue as governor and executive chairman of HBC.
“Helena is a transformational leader who will invigorate the business with a new perspective as we position HBC for the future,” Baker commented. “Throughout her 25-year tenure in retail, she has a proven track record of making bold, strategic choices that, at their core, put the customer first and have proven enormously impactful to business success. The board and I are thrilled to have Helena take the helm and bring her invaluable experience to the company.”
With the move to HBC, Foulkes leaves a 25-year career at CVS, most recently as executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy, a post she held since Jan. 1, 2014. She had taken over from former Macy’s Inc. president Mark Cosby, who had served as CVS Pharmacy president since October 2011.
As CVS Pharmacy president, Foulkes has led strategy and operations for the company’s retail business, including its approximately 9,700 drug stores, 20 distribution centers and e-commerce sites plus merchandising, supply chain, marketing and real estate. She was also an architect of the CVS’ strategy to be a U.S. health care leader and helped steer the company’s decision to discontinue retail sales of tobacco products and the creation of CVS digital.
Prior to that role, Foulkes served as executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer at CVS. She was promoted to that position in March 2011 after serving as executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
Before joining CVS in 1992, Foulkes worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and at Tiffany & Co.
She has received many professional honors, including being on the Fortune “Most Powerful Women in Business” list and the Fast Company “Most Creative People in Business” list. She also serves on the boards of The Home Depot, Harvard University Board of Overseers and National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
Besides Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, HBC’s banners in North America and Europe include Hudson’s Bay; Gilt; Saks Off 5th; Galeria Kaufhof, Germany’s largest department store group; and Belgian department store group Galeria INNO.