Former Duane Reade CEO Tony Cuti gets three years in prison for fraud
NEW YORK — Former Duane Reade CEO Tony Cuti was sentenced on Monday to three years in prison in connection with accounting fraud at the New York-based drug store chain.
Cuti, who is to report to prison on Jan. 31, 2012, also must pay a $5 million fine.
In sentencing Cuti, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan called him a "gifted, arrogant, driven and entitled individual" who "bullied people into committing fraudulent acts to make the company look better than it actual was," according to published reports.
In June 2010, Cuti was found guilty of conspiracy, securities fraud and making false statements. Former Duane Reade CFO William Tennant was found guilty of securities fraud.
Tennant’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 29.
From November 2000 through June 2005, Cuti and Tennant reported inflated income from fraudulent real estate transactions and reduced company expenses through fictitious credits from vendors, prosecutors said.
CVS Caremark names new president of CVS/pharmacy
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has appointed former Macy’s executive Mark Cosby as president of CVS/pharmacy, effective Oct. 1.
Cosby most recently served as Macy’s president of stores, where he was responsible for all Macy’s store operations and support functions nationwide.
Cosby succeeds Larry Merlo, who led the company’s retail business prior to taking over as CEO of CVS Caremark in March. As president, Cosby will have responsibility for all aspects of the company’s retail business, including its more than 7,200 retail stores, 19 distribution centers and e-commerce site, as well as retail merchandising, supply chain, marketing, real estate, front store and pharmacy operations.
“We’re delighted that Mark is joining our team,” Merlo stated. “His valuable experience at major retailers in operations and strategic planning makes him an excellent choice to lead our retail business going forward. I am confident that Mark will bring a strong vision, great energy and new ideas to CVS/pharmacy as we continue to refine our model and introduce innovations that position us for ongoing success and industry leadership.”
Cosby, 52, was elected president of stores of Macy’s in February 2009, with responsibility for all Macy’s store operations and support functions nationwide, as well as for overseeing stores in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Prior to this position, Cosby served as president and COO of New York-based Macy’s East, beginning in May 2007. He joined the company’s corporate office in July 2006 as SVP for property development. Previously, Cosby served as president of full-line stores for Sears Roebuck & Co., and earlier as COO of KFC and chief development officer of Yum Brands, the branded restaurants company spun off from Pepsico. He began his career as a financial analyst for General Foods Corp.
Known as an innovator, he initiated the co-branded stores with two eateries under the same roof while he was serving as COO of KFC. That tactic is now widespread within the fast food industry. Cosby also is credited with being the brains behind KFC’s popular popcorn chicken.
“I am looking forward to this exciting new role,” Cosby stated. “My passion for the customer and broad retail experience has helped to prepare me for this, and I am honored to lead this talented team of retail executives. What makes CVS/pharmacy extraordinary is its unique ability to improve the lives of millions of Americans by providing easy, innovative solutions and personalized pharmacy health care at their neighborhood drug store. I am committed to driving profitable growth and furthering our retail leadership position.”
Hugs for Charlie — take one and pass it along
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — “[Charlie] never wanted the spotlight,” longtime friend and colleague Al Kraus noted in an online post, recalling a conversation with Charlie Bowlus over a drink one night in 1994, at the end of the very first ECRM show. “His first show had maybe 80 people. … I asked him if he made any money on the show. He said, ‘I don’t know, but a lot of people did business, and it was a hell of a party.’”
(THE NEWS: ECRM announces memorial service celebrating founder Charlie Bowlus. For the full story, click here)
Within hours of the time Drug Store News first reported the tragic loss of ECRM founder and CEO Charlie Bowlus, the story already had become the most-commented-upon news item on DrugStoreNews.com since we launched the site in 1998. As this edition of the Weekly Drug Fix hits readers’ inboxes, more than 50 Drug Store News readers already had shared their memories of Charlie’s life and career — and how his friendship improved their own lives and careers — in posts on DrugStoreNews.com and on our Facebook page, as well as in direct letters to the editor. More than 100 others had shared their thoughts in a special online memorial bulletin board on the ECRM Marketgate website, ECRM.marketgate.com/marketgate/Charlie.aspx. In total, it’s enough for an entire issue of Drug Store News. And you better believe, it would be one BIG issue.
Later today, friends, family and former colleagues will gather at the City View Club Lounge at Cleveland Browns Stadium, the site of so many ECRM holiday parties, to remember and celebrate Charlie Bowlus’ life, the way Charlie would have wanted people to remember him.
That Charlie Bowlus created ECRM from some crazy idea he had for how he could use the Internet to make it easier for retailers and vendors to buy and sell — and that all of this grew from five people working out of his home — is a testament to the fact that if your dream ain’t bigger than you, then you ain’t dreaming big enough.
And if that were the whole story, that would be impressive enough.
But behind the ECRM experience is a massive investment in technology, and perhaps an even bigger investment in people — and not just because the company has grown to more than 200 associates. Charlie invested of himself — he invested in each of the people that ever rolled up their sleeves and went to work with him or for him; he invested in their careers and, in some cases, their personal lives, too.
That is clear in all of the comments from Charlie’s friends and colleagues. There are a lot of car stories, like the time former ECRM-er Anita Fontana and Charlie left “the rental car with the keys in it” in a no-parking zone in front of the airport “and ran like hell.” They made their flight. “I don’t think I ever ran so hard or laughed so hard,” she said.
David Horvat remembers driving with Charlie in San Diego in the mid ’90s, trying to find their hotel at a National Association of Chain Drug Stores conference. Charlie took a shortcut through a parking lot and blew out the tires on the security spikes. Limping up to the hotel valet, the parking attendant told Charlie he had two flat tires. “No I don’t. I have four,” Charlie said as he tossed him the keys and handed him a $100 bill. “Take care of this for me.”
And there are a lot of stories about family, like ECRM-er Melinda Young, who remembers how Charlie finally got her boyfriend to propose to her by leaving him a five-minute voicemail as the “voice of God.”
Or Teah Weiss, another original “Charlie’s Angel,” who remembers the day she needed to tell Charlie that she would need to scale back her workload to address some health issues and try with her husband to have a child. “His answer, ‘We’ll figure it out,’” she said. “Then he asked me to just sit tight for a minute and he and his son, Mitch, talked. Then Charlie handed [us] a check and told [my husband and I] to go on vacation and make a baby.”
And almost everybody has a story about Charlie Bowlus’ hugs. Like so many others, the first time ECRM-er Maria Di Franco met Charlie, “He was wearing jeans, had a big smile and gave me a hug — not what I expected from the CEO.”
To be sure, Charlie Bowlus wasn’t your typical CEO. And like the EPPS meetings he created, he packed a lot of living into 64 short years of life. Not just anybody could be Charlie Bowlus — and that’s an understatement. But there’s one thing you CAN do.
“If you met Charlie, you have had a hug,” Al Kraus noted. “If you ever met someone who has not, please pass it on. A hug from Charlie will stay with you forever.”