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CVS Health announces steps to accelerate omnichannel health strategy

The company made several executive leadership appointments and shared plans to close approximately 300 stores a year for the next three years.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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CVS Health is pulling the curtain back on the steps it is taking that support the ongoing strategy of making health care more affordable, accessible and convenient for consumers.

Included in these changes is a bit of a shakeup in its executive leadership positions. 

For starters, the company announced that Prem Shah would be taking over the newly created role of chief pharmacy officer. In this position, Shah will oversee the entire omnichannel pharmacy strategy. 

On Jan. 1, 2022, Shah and Michelle Peluso will become co-presidents of CVS Health’s retail business, with Peluso overseeing front-store strategy and operations.

[Read more: CVS Health raises guidance after increase in Q3 earnings, revenue]

Shah joined CVS Health in 2013 and is currently executive vice president of specialty pharmacy and product innovation. Peluso joined CVS Health in 2021 as executive vice president and chief customer officer.

“Prem and Michelle are ideally suited for their new roles and will be instrumental to CVS Health as we continue to execute against our strategy of delivering an integrated health care experience centered around the consumer,” Karen Lynch, president and CEO of CVS Health said.

In connection with the changes announced today, Neela Montgomery, the current executive vice president and president of CVS retail and pharmacy, has decided to leave the company. Montgomery will remain in her role until the end of 2021. 

“We appreciate Neela’s contributions during an incredibly challenging and dynamic period when our retail stores played a critical role in the country’s fight against COVID-19. We value the leadership she has provided during a time of evolution in our business and wish her continued success,” Lynch said. 

[Read more: CVS Health declares 2021 the 'Year of the Pharmacist' in health trends report]

As part of the company’s strategic review of its retail business, CVS Health will also create new store formats to drive higher engagement with consumers. Three distinct models will serve as community health destinations, including: 

  • Sites dedicated to offering primary care services;
  • Enhanced version of HealthHUB locations with products and services designed for everyday health and wellness needs; and
  • Traditional CVS Pharmacy stores that provide prescription services and health, wellness, personal care and other convenient retail offerings.

As part of this initiative, CVS Health will reduce store density in certain locations and close approximately 300 stores a year for the next three years. These changes will begin in the spring of 2022.

“Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company,” said Lynch. “We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence.”