CVS taps former Aetna executive as chief financial officer

imageStock Markets15 minutes ago (May 18, 2021 10:35AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The CVS logo is seen at one of their stores in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 1, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Manojna Maddipatla and Amruta Khandekar

(Reuters) -U.S. drugstore chain CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) on Tuesday named former Aetna (NYSE:AET) Chief Financial Officer Shawn Guertin as its new finance chief, in the latest hiring of a former executive from the health insurer since Karen Lynch was named chief executive.

Shares rose about 2% in early morning trading as the company also reiterated its recently issued 2021 adjusted earnings per share forecast range of $7.56 to $7.68.

CVS bought Aetna in 2018, seeking to tackle soaring healthcare spending through lower-cost medical services in pharmacies.

“We believe perception of Guertin is positive and Street will see this as favorable,” Baird analyst Eric Coldwell said in a client note.

“Guertin is no stranger to the company – he was set to become CFO of the company following the Aetna acquisition, but had left for personal reasons,” Coldwell said.

Guertin was with Aetna for eight years and played a key part in the U.S. insurer’s $69 billion deal with CVS in 2018.

He will take charge effective May 28 and will succeed Eva Boratto, who is leaving the company after 11 years.

This is the second top-level appointment of a former Aetna executive at CVS. The company had in February hired former Aetna President Karen Lynch as its chief executive officer to succeed long-time boss Larry Merlo.

CVS is betting on its Aetna health insurance and its pharmacy benefits management units to drive growth this year as its retail segment recovers from a sales hit due to the curbs imposed last year to control the pandemic.

“We believe CVS’s strategy will be to transform the company into a leading government MCO (managed care organization) and risk bearing primary care delivery company, with a retail presence,” Bernstein analyst Lance Wilkes said.

The rapid progression of recent executive hires is a positive for CVS’ implied strategic focus, Wilkes said.

CVS taps former Aetna executive as chief financial officer

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