Larry Merlo

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Larry Merlo
Born Larry J. Merlo
1956 (age 61–62)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Residence Rhode Island
Alma mater
Employer Thrift Drug (1978–1990)
CVS Health (1990–present)

Larry Merlo (born 1956) is the President and CEO of CVS Health.[1]


Merlo grew up in a small town (Charleroi)just south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Charleroi Area High School in 1973.[citation needed] He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 1978.[2][3]


Merlo began his career at Peoples Drug, and joined CVS Pharmacy in 1990, when Peoples was acquired by CVS. He served as Senior Vice President of Stores (January 1994 to March 1998), Executive Vice President – Stores (March 1998 to January 2007), Executive Vice President of CVS Caremark (January 2007 to May 2010), President of CVS Pharmacy (January 2007 to January 2010), and Chief Operating Officer (May 2010 to March 2011).[4][5] He was appointed chief executive officer in 2011.[6]

In 2014, after CVS refined its purpose of "helping people on their path to better health", Merlo announced that CVS would be the first major retail pharmacy to discontinue tobacco sales in all of its stores.[7][8] He also announced that CVS would attempt to expand its line of “MinuteClinics,” which are walk-in health clinics, from 800 locations to 1,500 by 2017.[9] In 2017, Merlo was also behind the decision that CVS would limit access to opioid painkillers.[8]

Honors and board memberships[edit]

Merlo serves on the Board of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable.[4]

In 2014, he was named number 31 by Fortune Magazine as the Biz Person of the Year.[9]

Merlo joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2015 State of the Union address on January 20.[7]

In 2016, Merlo was named University of Pittsburgh's 2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow, which recognizes graduates with records of professional achievement and community service.[10]

Family life[edit]

Merlo lives in East Greenwich, Rhode Island with his wife of 36 years, Lee Ann.[7]


In 2015, it was revealed that Larry Merlo had the highest CEO-to-average-employee pay ratio of any American company by Fortune Magazine.[11] CVS has also been criticized under Merlo's tenure as CEO for understaffing, not allowing pharmacy staff to take breaks, and underfunding critical aspects of daily operations.[12][13]


  1. ^ Gray, Eliza. "CVS Wants to Be Your Doctor's Office". Time Magazine. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Larry J. Merlo". CVS Health. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Rago, Joseph. "The Revolution at the Corner Drugstore". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Larry J. Merlo". Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "Larry J. Merlo". Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  6. ^ Luna, Taryn. "CVS chief Larry Merlo earned $32 million in 2014". Boston Globe. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Meet Larry Merlo, a Guest of the First Lady, Michelle Obama at the State of the Union". White House. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "This Company is Evolving with Purpose-Driven Changes in Mind". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  9. ^ a b "Larry Merlo". Fortune. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow | University of Pittsburgh News". Retrieved 2017-08-17. 
  11. ^ Zillman, Claire. "This CEO Has The Highest Pay Compared To His Workers". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  12. ^ "CVS Health - Overworked & Understaffed". Glassdoor. Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  13. ^ Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia. "Union alleges overwork and understaffing at CVS pharmacies". Retrieved 2017-07-19. 

External links[edit]