Lynch officially takes the helm of CVS Health

The front entrance of a CVS Pharmacy
Karen Lynch has stepped into the CEO role at CVS Health. (Eric Glenn/Shutterstock.com)

Karen Lynch has officially stepped into the CEO role at CVS Health.

The healthcare giant announced alongside its third-quarter earnings in November that long-time CEO Larry Merlo would retire and Lynch would step into the role effective Feb. 1. Lynch was brought into the company as part of CVS' $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, which closed in 2018.

Lynch previously served as president of the Aetna business, and was a key figure in directing CVS Health's COVID-19 response.

Karen Lynch
Karen Lynch (CVS Health)

"CVS Health has become a part of the day-to-day life of many Americans. We take this responsibility seriously and know that you depend on us for many of your everyday needs, including your health care," Lynch wrote in a blog post on LinkedIn. "As the new President and CEO, I’m energized by the opportunity to lead CVS Health and reimagine health care in this country."

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As CEO of CVS, she will lead more than 300,000 employees across the company's pharmacies, pharmacy benefit manager and health benefits businesses.

One of her key focuses in the role, CVS Health said, is continuing to push its evolution toward a more consumer-centric approach. The centerpiece of this is the ongoing transformation of its stores into HealthHUB locations.

These concept stores allocate additional retail space instead to healthcare, and CVS instead to have 1,500 HealthHUB stores operating by the end of this year.

"We understand the responsibility that we have to improve health care for the millions of people who depend on us," Lynch wrote. "We have everything we need to achieve this aspiration, including a deep understanding that the people we serve are not just customers. They are our friends, our families, our neighbors, and our colleagues, and we want to be a bigger part of their everyday health."