CVS head Tom Ryan to leave pharmaceutical giant

Woonsocket, R.I. – CVS Caremark says Chairman and CEO Thomas Ryan will retire next year, and company executive Larry Merlo will succeed him.

The Woonsocket, R.I., drugstore chain says Ryan plans to step down in May 2011. Its board appointed the 54-year-old Merlo president and chief operating officer and anticipates he will replace Ryan.

Merlo also will be elected to the company's board. Merlo has 20 years of experience with CVS. He served recently as company executive vice president and president of its CVS pharmacy/retail operations.

The 58-year-old Ryan has been with CVS for 36 years, including 16 years as president.