This payer CEO topped Fortune's list of Most Powerful Women in Business

Female executive leading meeting
Two health insurance CEOs landed on Fortune's annual list of the Most Powerful Women in Business. (Getty/Sam Edwards)

CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch landed atop Fortune's annual list of Most Powerful Women in Business, rising from a No. 13 ranking on 2020's list.

Lynch officially stepped into the CEO chair at CVS in February, succeeding long-time chief executive Larry Merlo. Lynch joined CVS Health in the Aetna acquisition, which closed in 2018 and added one of the nation's largest insurers to the pharmacy giant's enterprise.

Karen Lynch
Karen Lynch (CVS Health)

Anthem CEO Gail Boudreaux also landed at No. 7 on the list, falling from a No. 4 ranking in 2020.

Prior to becoming CVS' CEO, Lynch served as the president of Aetna and was a pivotal figure in the company's COVID-19 response.

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In addition to being key to managing CVS' pandemic testing and vaccine planning, Lynch has also pushed the healthcare giant's continuing evolution to a more consumer-centric model. The central effort within that push is the transformation of its retail pharmacies into HealthHUB concept stores, which allocate greater space to healthcare services.

In the Fortune article, it noted that the effort intends to make CVS a "new front door for healthcare access," through these new stores, enhanced MinuteClinic offerings and other programs.

In a statement, AHIP CEO Matt Eyles said that the placements for both Lynch and Boudreaux reflect their ongoing commitment to innovating in healthcare.

“Every American deserves access to affordable, high-quality health coverage, and health insurance providers are delivering for them,” said Eyles. “This recognition reflects Karen and Gail’s strong leadership and tireless efforts to find new and innovative ways to improve the health and financial stability of the people and communities they serve.”