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CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch Is the Most Powerful Woman in American Business

CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch Is the Most Powerful Woman in American Business

Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in American business is out this morning, and at the top of the list is—drumroll, please—is CVS Health CEO, Karen Lynch.

That’s justified not only by the enormous size of the company she runs—the merger with Aetna catapulted it to No. 4 on the Fortune 500, just after Walmart, Amazon, and Apple—but also by the audacity of her vision for transforming the company. As Fortune’s Shawn Tully writes here, the pandemic has helped accelerate Lynch’s plan of making CVS the front door for the U.S. health system. She plans to remodel hundreds of the company’s stores into outlets devoted primarily to primary care—super clinics able to provide a wide variety of services, ranging from urgent care to mental health counseling.

“One of the things the pandemic taught us is how quickly we can move to serve customer needs,” Lynch told Tully. “I don’t think we can ever go too fast.”

Lynch will be at the Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C., next week, as will many of the other women on the list. You can read the full list here. Fortune has been doing the list since 1998, and the collective power of the group is clearly on the rise—with CEOs of Citi, Accenture, UPS, GM, Walgreens, Anthem, Fidelity, and TIAA all ranking in this year’s top 10. Still, the percentage of Fortune 500 companies with female CEOs is lower than 9%—indicating a long way to go.

Other Most Powerful Women stories that merit your attention this morning include Beth Kowitt’s interview with new Walgreens Boots Alliance chief Roz Brewer and examination of the “COVID ceiling”; Maria Aspan on new Instacart CEO Fidji Simo; and a list of nine names we expect to see more of in the coming years.

More news is below. By the way, I’ll be taking advantage of CVS’ clinical services tomorrow, when I go to get my COVID vaccine booster shot.

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