Larry J. Merlo

Larry J. Merlo
President and CEO, CVS Caremark

Headquarters: Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Education: University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
First Job: Pharmacist

Guiding our purpose

At CVS Caremark, we serve millions of people through our CVS/pharmacy retail stores, our MinuteClinic locations, and our pharmacy benefit management business each and every day. Our customers, patients, and members come from a wide array of backgrounds that span a variety of cultures. In order to understand and meet their pharmacy health care needs, it’s vital that we have a workforce that reflects the people we serve.

With more than 200,000 colleagues across the country, we pride ourselves on having a diverse workforce and work hard to empower all of our employees. To do so, we offer many programs and initiatives that celebrate the differences among our colleagues. Our Diversity Management Leadership Council (DMLC), which consists of 17 senior leaders, provides leadership direction for strategic diversity management initiatives across CVS Caremark and reviews the progress we’ve made toward our diversity goals in workforce representation, colleague engagement, talent development, and marketplace diversity. Our Board of Directors is provided with an update on our diversity initiatives annually, and our Board Members often share unique insights on how to continue to improve.

One of our most notable diversity offerings is our Colleague Resource Groups (CRGs). Our CRGs are networks that give colleagues the opportunity to share or support a particular ethnicity, culture, or perspective. We now have 12 CRGs with over 40 local chapters, including those founded by Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, veterans, LGBT employees and, most recently, by colleagues with disabilities. The value of these groups is perhaps underscored by a decision to have all CRGs sponsored at the senior executive level. I am pleased to have recently become the executive sponsor of the Women’s Success Network, one of our company’s most active CRGs, and look forward to working with this group throughout 2014.

With a workforce as large as CVS Caremark’s, helping all colleagues understand the ways in which our company embraces diversity can be a challenge. In addition to introducing our diversity management strategy during new employee orientation, we also offer diversity-focused training programs to all colleagues, both new hires and long-time employees, throughout the year. These training opportunities give colleagues the tools they need to meet and exceed their personal and professional diversity goals.

CVS Caremark has been recognized for our diversity management work, something I’m really proud of. In fact, there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not impressed by how diverse our colleagues are, and how those differences truly inspire innovation. As a company, it’s vital that we continue to encourage our colleagues to embrace their differences with one another and our customers. Doing so not only allows us to deliver outstanding service and solutions, but also guides our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.