CVS hires IBM exec for new chief customer officer role overseeing marketing
CVS Health is reshaping its executive structure to include the newly created position of chief customer officer. On Jan. 25, Michelle Peluso, most recently chief marketing officer and senior VP, digital sales at IBM, will join the health care chain in the new role, which will include oversight of all marketing, brand strategy and consumer experience.
In a statement, Peluso noted CVS’ goal to provide a better connected experience for customers at a time when COVID-19 has changed their health care needs.
“COVID-19 has accelerated changes to health care delivery, and CVS Health’s diversified offerings give it an unparalleled opportunity to lead the way in providing customers with a personalized and seamless experience at every interaction,” she said.
The Woonsocket, R.I.-based retailer said that the current marketing leaders, including Norman de Greve, longtime CMO of CVS Health, Tammy Lewis, CMO of CVS Caremark and Gannon Jones, CMO of Aetna, will all report to Peluso.
According to Richard Sanderson, a consultant in the consumer and marketing officer practices at executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart, having a CMO report to a chief customer officer is becoming increasingly common as brands focus on customer experience. Walmart and Walgreens have similar structures, he notes.
“At the very large retailers, the organization is so large and the customer relationship so complex, that an overarching chief customer officer role exists to try and unite all the customer touchpoints across brand, media, marketing, loyalty, CRM, experience, digital commerce, etc.,” he says.
CVS’ personnel changes arrive a few months after the announcement that Karen Lynch, executive VP of CVS Health and president of Aetna, which CVS bought in 2018, would be promoted to president and CEO of the chain in February. Current CVS CEO Larry Merlo is retiring.
A marketing veteran, Peluso has worked at Citi, Travelocity and Gilt Groupe. At IBM, she was in charge of client experience and also focused on the company’s digital prowess, merging customer engagement with data-led insights.
CVS drugstore chain rival Walgreens has also been focusing on the consumer’s digital experience by leveraging its data to offer greater personalization for customers. The brand recently appointed WPP its global marketing and communications agency to help with this plan.
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