Larry Merlo

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Larry Merlo
Larry J. Merlo

1956 (age 62–63)
ResidenceRhode Island
Alma mater
EmployerThrift Drug(1978–1990)
CVS Health (1990–present)

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


Merlo grew up in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh, 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).[2][4] He was appointed chief executive officer in 2011.[5]

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.[6][7] 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.[8] In 2017, Merlo was also behind the decision that CVS would limit access to opioid painkillers.[7]

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.[2]

In 2014, he was named number 31 by Fortune Magazine as the Biz Person of the Year.[8]

Merlo joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2015 State of the Union Address on January 20.[6]

In 2016, Merlo was named University of Pittsburgh's 2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow, which recognizes graduates with records of professional achievement and community service.[9]

Family life[edit]

Merlo lives in East Greenwich, Rhode Island with his wife of 36 years, Lee Ann.[6]


In 2015, it was revealed that Larry Merlo had the highest CEO-to-average-employee pay ratio of any American company by Fortune Magazine.[10] 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.[11]


  1. ^ Gray, Eliza (February 12, 2015). "CVS Wants to Be Your Doctor's Office". Time. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Larry J. Merlo". CVS Health. Archived from the original on January 22, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  3. ^ Rago, Joseph (January 23, 2015). "The Revolution at the Corner Drugstore". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on April 29, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  4. ^ "CVS Health Corp: Larry J. Merlo". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  5. ^ Luna, Taryn (March 31, 2015). "CVS chief Larry Merlo earned $32 million in 2014". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Hudson, David (January 19, 2015). "Meet Larry Merlo, a Guest of the First Lady, Michelle Obama at the State of the Union". The White House. Archived from the original on February 8, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Gharib, Susie (October 24, 2017). "CVS Health CEO Says Purpose is at the Center of Company's Reinvention". Fortune. Archived from the original on October 29, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "2014's Top People in Business". Fortune. Archived from the original on November 28, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  9. ^ "2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow". University of Pittsburgh. October 5, 2016. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  10. ^ Zillman, Claire (August 6, 2015). "This CEO Has The Highest Pay Compared To His Workers". Fortune. Archived from the original on February 12, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  11. ^ Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia (May 10, 2016). "Union alleges overwork and understaffing at CVS pharmacies". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on July 3, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2017.

External links[edit]