Women Worth Watching 2015
CVS Health SVP Leads Strong and Enjoys a Healthy Dose of Success
As senior vice president of front store business and chief merchant for CVS Health, Judy Sansone is responsible for all non-pharmacy merchandising and CRM personalization efforts, including CVS/pharmacy’s industry-leading loyalty program ExtraCare, in the company’s 7,800 retail stores nationwide.
Over the course of her 30 year career with CVS Health, she has had held several leadership roles, including vice president of retail innovation and store design and vice president of merchandising. In those roles, she was responsible for beauty, health care, store brands, general merchandise, consumables, and international sourcing.
“The words I live by are ‘decide and go,’” said Judy. “When you have an idea but no execution, there will be no result. I always encourage my team to bias toward action.”
“…bias toward action.”
In addition, Judy has also served as a member of CVS Health’s executive planning team and executed a series of successful store acquisitions and integrations that significantly increased CVS/pharmacy’s store count, while expanding into high-growth new markets.
“I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when I realized I couldn’t wait to come to work,” said Judy. “I work with a smart empowered team that’s focused on growth and innovation. We are working toward winning the hearts and minds of our customers and that is…fun!
“When I see the work our company does to help people on their path to better health, such as stopping the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products, it makes me even more proud to work here.”
Education: Bryant College
First Job: Cashier at CVS/pharmacy
Words I Live By: Decide and go.
The most important quality a woman leader should have is…
…curiosity. It is important not to stop learning. The best business opportunities over time come from staying curious and thinking about the possibilities.
The career advice I’d give my former self:
Be inclusive. The best ideas become even better when I include others.
Words I live by:
Decide and go. When you have an idea but no execution, there will be no result. I always encourage my team to bias toward action.
The one thing I’d do differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…
…focus on building business relationships more intentionally. Over time, I’ve learned how powerful collaboration can be. I’d start to work on developing partnerships earlier.
When I really need to focus on a project, I…
read everything about it I can. I love data, insights and learning about the latest thinking on an idea. I read everything and then gather input from the people most knowledgeable about the topic.
My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…
…when serving as our Vice President of Health Care, I was asked to lead one of our company acquisitions for Merchandising, Marketing, Store Design and Construction. This role helped me to learn more about our business and to realize the value of our team. Being able to make quick yet informed decisions made the project a success.
Being a woman in my profession has been…
…a blast! I love the work I do for this amazing company and enjoy working such a talented team, each and every day. I also have the honor of working with our company’s next set of leaders and that energizes me.
I’ve learned that failure is…
…part of learning. If I haven’t failed at something, I’m probably not pushing hard enough for opportunity. The principal of “fail fast, fail cheap” helps encourage innovation.
I maintain a healthy personal life by…
…balancing family time and work. I’m lucky to have family and friends that support what I do and I make sure that I prioritize my time for my family.
I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…
…I couldn’t wait to come to work. I work with a smart empowered team that’s focused on growth and innovation. We are working toward winning the hearts and minds of our customers and that is…fun!
When I see the work our company does to help people on their path to better health, such as stopping the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products, it has made me even more proud to work here.