CEO Karen Lynch says CVS’s acquisition spree is about making health care simpler and more affordable

CVS CEO Karen Lynch.
Courtesy of CVS

Good morning.

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and I got to spend it with a woman who has climbed farther up the corporate ladder than any in history—Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS Health, now No. 4 on the Fortune 500 list. I interviewed Lynch at the Lake Nona Impact Forum, where she laid out her vision of how her company is going to transform health care.  

She’s certainly assembled the resources to do it. CVS Health includes the eponymous stores, which can be found within five miles of 85% of Americans; the health insurance giant Aetna; the pharmacy benefit manager Caremark; and if all goes well, two new businesses that Lynch has agreed to acquire for a combined $18 billion—Signify, which provides at-home health evaluation and care to millions of people each year, and Oak Street Health, which operates 169 clinics in 21 states providing health and wellness care to seniors. The goal of it all, Lynch told the Lake Nona crowd, is to make care more accessible and affordable, make it simpler, and engage people more fully in the health care system.

Ellen McGirt and I also interviewed Lynch this week for our Leadership Next podcast, and you can hear her describe her vision by downloading from Apple or Spotify. A few excerpts:

One of the things that I’ve learned over the course of the last couple of years is that people are more focused on their health than they ever have been. People want to be connected to their health. They want to live longer lives. And the way that you do that is through engagement.”

“What I want to do as a company is have you think about CVS Health as your kind of place to go. I want to make it easy, and I want to make it simple, and I want to make it affordable.”

By the way, CVS Health is the presenting partner of Fortune Well, which you can read here. More news below.

Alan Murray


More consumer debt

Citigroup CFO Mark Mason says the bank has witnessed an uptick in U.S. consumers slowing or being unable to repay their growing credit card debts, with a corresponding increase in credit losses, particularly among borrowers with lower credit scores. While default rates on credit card loans are still below pre-pandemic levels, Mason expects loan losses to rise. Financial Times

Uber considering spinoff

Uber is said to be exploring options to spin off its Uber Freight logistics unit—either as a separate, publicly-traded company or through a sale—in a bid to streamline its focus on ride-hailing and food delivery. However, sources caution that the discussions are still in the early stages and a decision isn't imminent. Bloomberg

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The Dutch government has announced it will enforce export restrictions on semiconductor technology under a deal with the U.S. and Japan to limit sales to China. The move will require companies to apply for licenses to export high-specification systems used in manufacturing chips. The restrictions aim to prevent China from accessing advanced chip technology. Similar measures have been implemented by the U.S. and U.K. Financial Times


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This edition of CEO Daily was edited by Jackson Fordyce. 

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