CVS names ex-Macy’s exec pharmacy boss

SIX MONTHS after Larry J. Merlo became president and CEO of CVS Caremark Corp., Mark S. Cosby has been named to replace him as head of CVS/pharmacy.
Posted 8/22/11

WOONSOCKET - Stymied since December from hiring a former Wal-Mart executive to head its CVS/pharmacy division, CVS Caremark Corp. Monday named Mark S. Cosby, the former president of Macy’s store operations, to lead its more than 7,200 retail outlets across the United States.

Cosby, 52, is expected to start at the Woonsocket-based pharmacy and benefits-manager giant in October, according to a company release.

“We’re delighted that Mark is joining our team,” said Larry J. 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 … as we continue to refine our model and introduce innovations that position us for ongoing success and industry leadership.”

Until being named CEO of CVS Caremark in March, Merlo had led the company’s retail business. Cosby’s duties will include overseeing not just the more than 7,200 CVS/pharmacy retail stores but 19 distribution centers, an e-commerce site and the merchandising, supply chain, marketing, real estate, front store and pharmacy operations support functions as well.

After working as president of full-line stores for Sears Roebuck & Co., chief operations officer for KFC and chief development officer at Yum! Brands, Cosby became president and chief operating officer of Macy’s East, and senior vice president for property development of Federated Department Stores. Cosby earned his undergraduate degree in business and MBA from the University of Wisconsin.

“My passion for the customer and broad retail experience has helped to prepare me for this and I am honored to lead this talented team of retail executives,” said Cosby. “I am committed to driving profitable growth and furthering our retail leadership position.”

CVS Caremark was sued by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in December to prevent it from hiring Hank Mullany, the former president of Wal-Mart’s northern U.S. division. The retail giant claimed that the hiring of Mullany would violate a non-compete agreement the executive signed after joining the company in 2006.

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