According to Fortune, 41 women run Fortune 500 companies. Decades ago, the number was zero.
Some of the companies run by women have well-known names. These include General Motors, run by Mary Barra; Citigroup, run by Jane Fraser; and Best Buy, run by Corie Barry. However, the largest company run by a woman may not be as well known by the public.
CVS Health is run by Karen Lynch. The company ranks fourth on the Fortune 500 list. It has a market capitalization of $107 billion, and its sales last year were $269 billion. She took over as CEO in February of this year.
Lynch made $2.5 million last year, according to the company’s proxy. However, she had not become the chief executive yet. Presumably, her pay will rise this year. Last year, chief Larry Merio made $4.7 million.
When Lynch was promoted to the CEO role, the company’s board wrote:
Karen has more than three decades of experience in the health care industry. Prior to becoming CEO, she was Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President of Aetna, responsible for driving the strategy to deliver consumer-focused, high-value health care to the millions of people Aetna serves. For the last five years, Karen has been named among Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business, and in 2020, she was recognized on Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
CVS faces a number of challenges. One is the issue of what it pays workers. It recently increased the sum for entry-level workers to $15 an hour. Another challenge is high expectations for earnings. For its most recent quarter, the company topped both revenue and earnings estimates. It also raised its guidance.
Lynch is off to a fast start, which means she is also among the most successful CEOs of a huge American company. It appears that will be true for some time.