CVS will become the biggest Fortune 500 company to be run by a woman as Karen Lynch becomes CEO

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CVS will become the biggest Fortune 500 company to be run by a woman as Karen Lynch becomes CEO
Karen Lynch, the former president of Aetna, will be CVS Health's next CEO.Aetna/Youtube
  • CVS Health named Aetna President Karen Lynch as the company's new CEO, effective February 2021.
  • Because CVS Health ranks fifth on the Fortune 500, the company will become the largest one led by a woman.
  • CVS Health bought Aetna in 2018 for $70 billion.
  • Lynch told Business Insider's Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer her vision as Aetna's leader was to help insurance members stay better on top of doctor visits and medicines using CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic.
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CVS will soon be the largest US company run by a woman.

CVS Health announced that Karen Lynch, the president of Aetna and executive vice president of CVS Health, will take over for current CEO Larry Merlo upon his retirement in February 1, 2020. CVS Health bought Aetna, a health insurance company, in 2018 for $70 billion.

"I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to succeed Larry and lead CVS Health on the next phase of our important journey to meet America's health care needs," Lynch said in a statement. "I am highly confident about our company's future and look forward to further accelerating the value we bring to all of our stakeholders."

Read more: Meet the woman overseeing a key piece of CVS Health's plan to change how Americans get healthcare

CVS Health ranks as fifth on the Fortune 500, which ranks companies by revenue not market cap, meaning the company will become the largest firm run by a woman once Lynch takes over. Mary Barra currently holds the title as CEO of General Motors, which ranks 40th.

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Lynch joined Aetna in 2012 as the executive vice president of specialty products. She became president three years later, leading the merger with CVS Health. Aetna is the country's third largest health insurer by membership.

Lynch told Business Insider's Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer her vision for as the leader of Aetna during the merger was to help insurance members stay better on top of doctor visits and medicines using CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic.

Aetna unveiled a Connected Plan in September that gives patients discounts at CVS pharmacies, free prescription delivery, and $0 copay for MinuteClinic visits.

CVS Health shares were up 5.78% to $65 on Friday.

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