10 Things You Didn’t Know About CVS Health CEO Larry J. Merlo

Larry Merlo is the CEO and President of the giant CVS Health corporation. He is known for taking the company to new heights of success. In addition, he is one of the highest paid executives in the industry currently. Most people don’t know much about Merlo, other than he’s a high powered executive that gets things done. We’re here to correct this by offering 10 things you didn’t know about CVS Health CEO, Larry J. Merlo.

1. He is a native of Pennsylvania

Larry was born in 1956, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a small town that is located to the south of Pittsburgh, and attended school there. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 1978.

2. He has been honored for his accomplishments

Merlo may have grown up and moved away to develop his distinguished career, but he was not forgotten by his alma mater. In 2016, The University of Pittsburgh named him as a Distinguished Alumni Fellow because of his record of professional achievement as well as his community service.

3. He was a pharmacist

Larry J. Merlo didn’t start out his career as an executive. After graduating with his degree, he began work as a pharmacist, filling prescriptions. While he earned good pay in his career, it was a long way from the millions per year he would later make as a CEO. It wasn’t until 1990 that he joined the CVS Pharmacy team. This was after the company had made the acquisition of People’s Drug.

4. He takes anti-tobacco campaigns personally

Larry Merlo is joined by his co-worker, President Helen Foulkes in waging a war against the use of tobacco products. His father died of tobacco related cancer when the senior was just 57 years of age. This senseless and premature death has made Larry abhor the use of tobacco products. Folkes, moth died from lung cancer from smoking cigarettes just five years ago and the two have teamed up to make a difference and educate the public about the dangers of smoking.

5. Merlo halted sales of tobacco products at CVS

In an action that showed his dedication to preserving public health, Merlo issued the order in 2014 that would stop all tobacco product sales at all CVS pharmacy locations. He used a reasonable argument to counter any arguments and pointed out that selling tobacco products shows an inconsistency with the purposes of the company. They are in the business of promoting healthcare and selling dangerous products that are known to cause disease was a contradiction that had to be remedied. In a blog post he is quoted as saying, “This is the right thing to do.”
Mr. Merlo decided to demonstrate his company’s commitment to public health in 2014 when he announced CVS would stop selling tobacco products at all retail locations.

6. He’s grown the CVS Health company during his tenure

Larry Merlo became the CEO and President of CVS Health in the year 2011. Since he took over the helm, the growth of the company has been remarkable. They have expanded since that time to own 9,700 pharmacies as well ass 1,100 walk in clinics. The company’s net revenue for 2016 was $177.5 billion.

7. He is one of the highest paid CEOs in the nation

Merlo was named as the eighth highest paid CEO in the United States by CNN Money in 2014. At that time, his total compensation was a whopping $22.9 million. Although it hasn’t risen much since then, he’s not getting hurt with a compensation package that is valued at $23 million a year. When compared to the salary of an average CVS employee, earning $28,700 per year, he earns more than 422 times as much.

8. He serves on important committees

Merlo is a member of the Consumer Goods Forum Board. He also serves on the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees as well as being a member of the Board of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

9. He’s worked with Michelle Obama

When Michelle Obama was still the First Lady, Merlo appeared with her at the 2015 State o the Union Address that was held on January 20th. This just goes to show how well he is connected and how highly his opinions are weighted in political circles.

10. Merlo has had his share of criticism

Merlo, along with the entire CVS company has fallen under harsh criticism for the way that their operations are run. Some of the accusations border criminal and inhumane treatments of employees. The allegations suggest that Merlo seriously understaffs their work facilities, placing an unreasonable burden on the workers. He’s also been accused of not allowing pharmacy staff to take breaks.



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