5 things to know about CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo

CVS Health is reportedly in talks to purchase Aetna for $66 billion, led by their CEO and President Larry Merlo.

Here are five things to know about Mr. Merlo.

1. Mr. Merlo began his career as a pharmacist and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. He joined CVS Pharmacy in 1990, after the company's acquisition of People's Drug.

2. Since Mr. Merlo became CEO and president of CVS Health in 2011, the company has grown to include roughly 9,700 pharmacies and 1,100 walk-in clinics. Also a pharmacy benefits manager, CVS Health generated $177.5 billion in net revenue in 2016.

3. In 2014, CNN Money named Mr. Merlo the eighth-highest paid CEO in the U.S., with a total compensation of $22.9 million. In 2015, Fortune said Mr. Merlo had the highest CEO-to-worker salary ratio in the U.S., making 422 times more than the average CVS employee, who earns $28,700 per year.

4. Mr. Merlo decided to demonstrate his company's commitment to public health in 2014 when he announced CVS would stop selling tobacco products at all retail locations.

"The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose — helping people on their path to better health… Cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered. This is the right thing to do," Mr. Merlo wrote in a company blog post.

5. Mr. Merlo serves on the Board of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the University of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees and is also a member of the Consumer Goods Forum Board.

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