CVS Caremark Corp. has named former Walmart executive Hank Mullany president of CVS/pharmacy, but the appointment is being challenged in court.

CVS Caremark, CVS/pharmacy, Hank Mullany, Walmart, Walmart North, Larry Merlo, Tom Ryan, noncompete agreement, injunction, Per Lofberg, Caremark Pharmacy Services, Geoff Walden, Genuardi's

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CVS/pharmacy names former Walmart exec president

December 6th, 2010

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS Caremark Corp. has named former Walmart executive Hank Mullany president of CVS/pharmacy, but the appointment is being challenged in court.

The 52-year-old Mullany, who joined Walmart in 2006, was executive vice president of the discounter and president of Walmart North, with responsibility for 1,300 stores across 19 states.

He has nearly 30 years of retail experience and a strong background in operations, finance and strategic planning. Earlier in his career he served in various senior management positions, including president of Genuardi’s Family Markets in Pennsylvania.

At CVS/pharmacy Mullany succeeds CVS Caremark president and chief operating officer Larry Merlo, who will become the company’s chief executive officer in the spring.

“Hank brings a wealth of experience to his new role and understands the many demands and challenges of the retail business,” said Merlo. “His expertise along with his demonstrated ability to execute strategies and produce outstanding results make him the right candidate to drive continued growth in our retail business and further our industry leadership for many years to come.”

CVS Caremark chairman and chief executive officer Tom Ryan added, “Hank is the right candidate to fill this role. His broad base of retail experience will further our mission to provide customers with expert care and innovative solutions. Hank’s proven track record as a leader will continue to set us apart in today’s competitive marketplace.”

The appointment of Mullany completes a succession that Ryan set the stage for last spring when he announced his retirement plans. Ryan, who has been CVS Caremark’s chief executive since 1998 and its chairman since 2007, will step down prior to the company’s annual meeting in May.

To ease the transition to a new chief executive, the CVS Caremark board created what it calls an office of the chairman, consisting of Ryan, Merlo and Per Lofberg, who this year became president of Caremark Pharmacy Services, the company’s pharmacy benefits management unit.

Mullany’s start date was in doubt because Walmart has sued the drug chain for violating a noncompete agreement signed by Mullany. He was involved in Walmart’s plans to develop small-format stores of between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet as a springboard for urban growth, according to the lawsuit. Walmart at presstime was seeking an injunction preventing Mullany from starting at CVS Caremark this week.

CVS Caremark indicated that it was hiring Mullany without regard to the agreement, Walmart said in its court complaint. His employment “will necessarily require Mullany to use and disclose Walmart’s confidential information,” the complaint says. “Knowledge of Walmart’s confidential information would be extremely valuable to CVS and will be used by CVS to gain competitive advantage.”