HBC appoints CVS Health executive Helena Foulkes CEO

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Hudson’s Bay Co., the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, named CVS Health Corp. executive Helena Foulkes its first female chief executive officer as the department-store operator struggles with declining traffic and a restless activist investor.

Foulkes, who has been with the pharmacy benefits manager for more than 25 years, was most recently executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy.

Helena Foulkes will start in the role on Feb. 19, the Toronto-based company said Monday in a statement.

Richard Baker has been acting as HBC’s interim CEO since the departure of Jerry Storch last fall. Baker will continue as governor and executive chairman.

“Helena is a transformational leader who will invigorate the business with a new perspective as we position HBC for the future,” Baker said in a statement.

At the department store chain, Foulkes will be responsible for HBC’s global strategy and operations for all of its banners. She will also be appointed to HBC’s board of directors.

“The future of retail will be defined by companies that think creatively about where the consumer and the world are headed,” Foulkes said in a statement.

Foulkes added that one of her priorities will be to “build upon strategies that capitalize HBC’s physical and digital assets and deepen our core operating effectiveness.”

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