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Merlo to assume CEO role at CVS Caremark

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The next chapter for CVS Caremark officially is under way as the company announced on Monday the next stage of its previously announced transition plan and officially named Larry Merlo, president and COO, as CEO, effective March. 1.

Tom Ryan, chairman, president and CEO, will remain nonexecutive chairman until his retirement at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders in May.

“Since we announced our transition plan in May of last year, Larry and I have worked hard to successfully transition roles and responsibilities, and Larry is ready to be CEO,” Ryan stated. “After 37 years with our company and 16 years as president, I am more confident than ever that our assets, along with our innovative products and services, are lowering healthcare costs and improving outcomes. Our success took years of hard work, commitment and dedication to our mission from the more than 200,000 CVS Caremark colleagues we have across the company. I am so proud of all of the work we have accomplished together and remain confident that this success will continue well into the future under Larry’s leadership.”

Prior to being named president and COO in May 2010, Merlo served as EVP of the company and president of CVS/pharmacy retail operations, overseeing a portfolio of more than 7,000 CVS/pharmacy locations. Merlo began his career in chain pharmacy in 1978 as an assistant manager with People’s Drug in Washington, D.C. He joined CVS as area VP of the metro Washington, D.C., area in 1990 — the year CVS acquired People’s Drug. Over the years, Merlo has held various positions at CVS, including EVP stores of CVS from April 2000 to January 2007 and EVP stores of CVS Pharmacy from March 1998 to January 2007.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this company. As the nation’s premier integrated pharmacy healthcare provider, we have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. I look forward to continuing our positive momentum and to further enhancing the long-term value of our company. I’ve worked directly with Tom for the past 20 years, and I want to thank him for his mentoring and leadership and am confident we will continue to build on his legacy,” Merlo stated.

Upon Ryan’s retirement as chairman in May, the company plans to elect David Dorman as the next nonexecutive chairman of the board of directors at the 2011 Annual Meeting. Dorman has been on the CVS Caremark board since 2006.

“On behalf of the company’s board of directors, I would like to thank Tom for all he has done for CVS Caremark. Under his leadership, CVS has evolved from a regional drug store chain with revenues of $5 billion in 1994 to the nation’s largest pharmacy healthcare provider with revenues approaching $100 billion. And along the way, Tom has built a culture focused on innovation, customer service and flawless execution. It is the culture Tom fostered over his 37-year tenure that differentiates CVS Caremark in the marketplace today,” stated Terry Murray, lead director of CVS Caremark.

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Walmart to offer discounted tickets to African-American museum exhibition

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart, the presenting sponsor of the "America I Am: The African-American Imprint" tour, will offer specially priced tickets at select Walmart stores in the Washington, D.C., area.

Walmart is offering tickets at the lowest available price: $10 for adults and $5 for children, or 17% off standard ticket prices.

"America I Am" is a four-year touring museum exhibition that celebrates nearly 500 years of African-American contributions to this country.

"We are honored to sponsor the ‘America I Am’ exhibition, which provides families throughout the nation the opportunity to celebrate and embrace the rich history of the African-American community in this country," said Alex Barron, regional general manager of Mid-Atlantic states at Walmart. "We are always committed to providing the best value to our customers so they can save money and live better, and are proud to do that by giving them exclusively priced access to this one-of-a-kind experience."

America I AM will be open at the National Geographic Museum through May 1, 2011.

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Kroger declares quarterly dividend

BY DSN STAFF

CINCINNATI — Retail giant Kroger on Friday declared a quarterly dividend of 10.5 cents per share to be paid March 1 to shareholders of record on Feb. 15.

Kroger operates 2,461 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names.

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