Larry J. Merlo, president and chief executive officer of CVS Health, will be the featured speaker for Pitt’s graduate student commencement convocation at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29.
A Pitt alumnus and University trustee, Merlo assumed the role of president and CEO of CVS Health in 2011 after joining CVS Pharmacy in 1990. He has played an integral role in CVS’s growth into the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. In 2014, CVS became the first national pharmacy chain to ban tobacco sales in its more than 7,600 stores. To reflect this broader health care commitment, the company subsequently changed its corporate name to CVS Health. Under Merlo’s leadership, CVS also has developed apprenticeship programs to train pharmaceutical technicians, provided scholarships to pharmacy students and launched a number of efforts to attract diverse communities to STEM careers.
Merlo was named Pitt’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow, the University’s premier alumni honor, which recognizes extraordinary professional achievements. He also was recently named to Barron’s World’s Best CEOs list, as well as named a Fortune Businessperson of the Year. In 2010, he received Pitt School of Pharmacy’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2008 was named a Legacy Laureate. A Board of Trustees member since 2013, Merlo earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Pitt’s School of Pharmacy in 1978.