CVS' Helena Foulkes Leaves To Head Global Retailer

Feb 5, 2018

Credit RIPR

A top CVS Health executive is leaving the Woonsocket-based pharmacy chain to become chief executive of a company that owns upscale retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor.

Helena Foulkes, vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy, where she currently oversees the company’s retail stores, will become CEO of Toronto-based Hudson Bay Company effective Feb. 19, according to company news release. Foulkes will be responsible for HBC’s global strategy and operations, including more than 480 stores.

"Helena is a transformational leader who will invigorate the business with a new perspective as we position HBC for the future," Richard Baker, the company’s acting interim CEO, said in the news release. "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. The Board and I are thrilled to have Helena take the helm and bring her invaluable experience to the company."

Her departure comes as CVS prepares to buy Hartford-based Aetna.

CVS did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Foulkes, 53, who was named by Fortune magazine as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Business,’’ is described by the company as “a force for change and innovation.” As chief of strategy and government affairs, Foulkes helped lead CVS's decision to stop selling tobacco products.

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Foulkes worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Tiffany & Co. prior to joining CVS in 1992.

Foulkes, of Providence, is married to William Foulkes, chairman of the Rhode Island Council on Postsecondary Education and a faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design.