CVS Health exec named CEO of department store giant

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CVS Health exec named CEO of department store giant

By Marianne Wilson - 02/05/2018
Hudson’s Bay Company, parent company of Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay and other retail banners, named CVS Health veteran Helena Foulkes as CEO, effective February 19.

Foulkes has been with CVS for 25 years, most recently as executive VP of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy. At HBC, she will be responsible for global strategy and operations for all of the company’s banners, overseeing more than 66,000 associates worldwide across a portfolio of more than 480 stores, related e-commerce platforms, supply chain, logistics and technology. She takes the reins of HBC as it deals with declining traffic and ongoing pressure from an activist investor.

Upon joining HBC, Foulkes will also be appointed the company’s board. Richard Baker, who has been acting as interim CEO since the abrupt departure of Jerry Storch from the job last fall, will continue as governor and executive chairman.

“Helena is a transformational leader who will invigorate the business with a new perspective as we position HBC for the future,” said Richard Baker. “Throughout her 25 year tenure in retail, she has a proven track record of making bold, strategic choices that, at their core, put the customer first and have proven enormously impactful to business success.”

Foulkes joined CVS in 1992. She has served as executive VP of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy since January 2014. In the role, she led the strategic vision as well as the operations for all aspects of the company’s retail business, including its nearly 9,700 retail stores, 20 distribution centers and e-commerce sites, as well as merchandising, supply chain, marketing and real estate. She helped lead CVS’s move to discontinue sales of tobacco products. Most recently, she led the company’s decision to eliminate air-brushing of models from the imagery used to promote its in-house beauty brands.

Founded in 1670, HBC is the oldest company in North America. Its portfolio includes formats ranging from luxury to premium department stores to off-price fashion shopping destinations, with more than 480 stores. HBC’s banners include Hudson's Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt, Saks Off 5th, Galeria Kaufhof, the largest department store group in Germany, and Belgium's only department store group, Galeria INNO.

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