What will an ex Crate & Barrel CEO bring to her new job leading CVS Pharmacy?
CVS Health Corporation announced yesterday that it has hired Neela Montgomery as executive vice president and president of CVS Pharmacy/Retail, effective Nov. 30, to run the company’s 10,000 drugstores and lead its 190,000 employees across the U.S.
Ms. Montgomery, who is currently a board partner at Greycroft, a venture capital firm, is better known for her stint as CEO of the Crate & Barrel. She led a digital transformation at the furniture chain. The company grew its online sales to half of total revenues on her three-year watch.
Before she joined Crate & Barrel, Ms. Montgomery served on the board of the Otto Group, one of the leading e-commerce retailers in the world, for six years. She previously served as the UK e-commerce director at Tesco, one of many management positions in merchandising and a variety of other roles at the British retailing giant.
CVS’s high profile hiring of Ms. Montgomery answers the questions that many had when she announced she was leaving Crate & Barrel last summer. Her departure from the furniture retailer came as a surprise for some based on the high marks she received for integrating the company’s physical and digital operations.
As to her plans heading into her new job, Ms. Montgomery talked about the “important role” that CVS plays in the health and lives of Americans.
“Increasingly these health care touch points will be digital, virtual and in-person,” she said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to help accelerate the company’s bold vision to deliver consumer health services in the community and ensure CVS Pharmacy plays an essential role in customers’ health moments.”
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus was one of the most critical moments in the medical history of the U.S. The pandemic has claimed nearly 258,00 American lives, with the number of newly confirmed cases having risen 49 percent over the past two weeks, according to statistics compiled by The New York Times.
A recent bright spot has been the announcements by pharmaceutical companies that immunizations have proven safe and effective in test cases so far. Expectations are that vaccines will be available at some point in 2021, and pharmacies such as CVS are expected to play a key role in their distribution.
The Trump administration last week said it saw a sharp uptick in the numbers of seniors signing up for free COVID-19 vaccines at CVS and other pharmacies taking part in a federal program, according to CNBC.
- CVS Health names Neela Montgomery President of CVS Pharmacy – CVS Health Corporation
- CVS Health announces CEO transition effective February 2021 – CVS Health Corporation
- Covid in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count – The New York Times
- Trump officials see surge in signs ups for free CVS, Walgreens Covid vaccine program for seniors – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What effect do you think Neela Montgomery will have on CVS’s drugstore operations and overall company results? Where do you see the greatest challenges and opportunities facing CVS as Ms. Montgomery moves into her new job?