Diversity Leadership: Larry J. Merlo, CVS Health

Larry J. Merlo

President and CEO

CVS Health

Larry Merlo has always enjoyed science, and it was his high-school chemistry teacher who helped steer him toward “a life in pharmacy,” he told the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy’s PITTPharmacy. After more than three decades in the industry, Merlo, now President and CEO of CVS Health, is more committed than ever to helping others grow their careers in pharmacy.

“We value diversity and share a common belief in the importance of revitalizing local communities and creating a more diverse workforce,” Merlo said when the company sponsored the National Urban League Conference in 2011. “We are exploring a deeper partnership with the Urban League that will leverage their grassroots reach into multicultural communities with the goal of helping people build prosperous careers.”

Merlo began his career at Peoples Drug, which was acquired by CVS in 1990. Since then he has held numerous leadership positions at CVS and was a driving force in the company’s acquisition of Longs Drug, Osco/Sav-on, Eckerd and Revco. His previous titles include Chief Operating Officer, President of CVS/pharmacy and Executive Vice President of CVS Caremark, and Executive Vice President Stores of CVS Corporation.

He is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and is a former board chairman. He also sits on The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. Merlo graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 1978. He lives in Rhode Island with his family.

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