people move hero

People on the move … Jan. 19

Important personnel changes you should know this week about CVS, NACDS and Ulta Beauty.

Drug Store News has rounded up all the retail pharmacy comings and goings to help keep you informed. Here are this week’s announcements.

CVS Health names Sam Khichi executive vice president, chief policy officer and general counsel

CVS Health has announced that Sam Khichi has joined the company as executive vice president, chief policy officer and general counsel. He leads the legal, compliance and government affairs teams who support CVS Health’s strategy to make health care more accessible and affordable.

“Sam brings diversified experience to many key issues for CVS Health, including geopolitical matters, data privacy, and compliance,” CVS Health said. “He has an exceptional track record of managing complex health care business and legal strategies.”

Khichi will become a member of the company's executive leadership team and report to the CEO. Prior to joining CVS Health, he served at Becton Dickinson as executive vice president, corporate development, public policy, regulatory affairs and general counsel. He joined Becton Dickinson through the acquisition of C. R. Bard where he served as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, and previously was the chief administrative officer, senior vice president and general counsel at Catalent Pharma Solutions.

“This is an exciting time to join CVS Health and be part of a team whose strategy is redefining how health care is delivered in this country,” Khichi said. “I have long admired CVS Health for its innovation and leadership in advancing the consumer health care experience. Achieving transformation of this scale requires changing the way information is shared and technology utilized by consumers, employers, and providers and CVS Health is uniquely positioned to lead this change.”


Ben Pearlman joins NACDS as director of state government affairs

Ben Pearlman, Esq., has joined the staff of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. He fills the role of director of state government affairs. Most recently, Ben served as senior director of government and public affairs for Shipt. 

At NACDS, Pearlman will lead advocacy efforts in the following states: Connecticut; Delaware; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Vermont; and Wisconsin. Coordinating and collaborating with in-state members and partners, he will develop and implement unique state strategies and plans to help address state legislative and regulatory issues impacting pharmacies and the patients they serve.

“Ben brings to NACDS more than 15 years of diverse experience in areas ranging from healthcare to business regulation and other industries,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson. “His expertise in government affairs, regulatory oversight, lobbying compliance and policy implementation will prove a vital addition to NACDS’ pro-patient, pro-pharmacy advocacy at the state level. He will contribute mightily to the Association’s work on behalf of NACDS members and the Americans who rely on them.”

Before working at Shipt, Pearlman led state government affairs in more than 25 states in the northern region of the United States for Lowe’s. Previously he served as senior manager of government and regulatory affairs for Comcast Cable; as an attorney and lobbyist for Serlin Haley; as legal counsel for the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture in the Massachusetts General Court; as a federal relations assistant for Indiana University’s Office of Government Relations; and as a legislative correspondent for U.S. Rep Peter Visclosky (D-IN) (1985-2021)


Chief financial officer Natalie Knight to leave Ahold Delhaize

Ahold Delhaize has announced that Natalie Knight, CFO since 2020, will leave the company to pursue another career opportunity in the United States of America. A six months’ notice period applies, the company said.

“Although her time at Ahold Delhaize has been short, I respect Natalie’s decision to move her family back to the United States after more than 25 years in Europe,” Frans Muller, president and CEO said. “During her tenure here, Natalie has had a positive impact on our company, driving greater alignment across the Finance function, fueling our Save for our Customers program and taking financial reporting and communication to the next level. Her passion for sustainability and diversity has supported advancing these topics across our business. I look forward to our continued collaboration through the next months as we further implement our Leading Together Strategy.”

“It has been an honor to serve this great company and its associates during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic showed us the importance of grocery retail in the communities we serve. I am proud that throughout it all, we’ve been able to deliver not only strong financial results but also ensure financial stability of the company, advance e-commerce profitability and increase our future-focused investments such as sustainability. I look forward to continue working with Frans and the team to ensure a smooth transition and to help identify my successor,” Knight said. 

Ulta Beauty names Michelle Crossan-Matos chief marketing officer

Ulta Beauty has named Michelle Crossan-Matos as the new chief marketing officer, reporting to CEO Dave Kimbell.

In the new role, Crossan-Matos will oversee integrated marketing, creative operations, store design, public relations, consumer insights and other areas. Those initiatives will reinforce the company’s position in retail and beauty and build emotional connections with the Ulta Beauty brand, the company said.

Before Ulta, Crossan-Matos was chief marketing, citizenship and communications officer at Samsung Electronics America, where oversaw the company’s U.S. consumer and B2B marketing and communications strategy. She also oversaw corporate citizenship and social impact programs, including Samsung’s philanthropic, giving and volunteerism initiatives.


Teruhiro Kawabe promoted to chief representative for USA and president/CEO of Morinaga

Morinaga America, distributor of Hi-Chew, has announced that tenured executive Teruhiro Kawabe has been promoted from president, CEO of MAI to chief representative for the USA and president/CEO. 

In his new role, Kawabe will oversee and supervise Morinaga America Foods, the production facility in North Carolina and Morinaga America, the U.S. corporate division of the company. With MAI's goal of strategically expanding the U.S. business, Kawabe will look to optimize business management for both companies and drive the strategic expansion of the U.S. market, the company said.

Kawabe has worked with Morinaga Group for more than 30 years, previously serving as president and CEO of Morinaga Asia Pacific (MAP) in Bangkok, Thailand before his most recent role at MAI. During his tenure with MAP, Kawabe grew the Hi-Chew brand's distribution footprint throughout New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, tripling the sales volume in just three years. He had also introduced Hi-Chew to the mainstream market through distribution expansion in the grocery, food, drug, mass, and convenience channels of trade. Hi-Chew sales in the U.S. have grown from $8 million in 2012 to more than $100 million in 2021. With Kawabe at the helm, Hi-Chew sales increased by more than 30.8% since 2021. Additionally, he executed two new brand launches within MAI in 2022, including Chargel, a unique energy gel drink made in Japan, and Fi-Being, a better-for-you hard candy option.

"I'm delighted to continue leading MAI on its path towards sustainable growth and to continue expanding the brand's footprint across the U.S. markets," said Kawabe. "I'm looking forward to bringing MAI's vision of solidifying a presence in the wellness space to life, while continuing to deliver delicious, fun, and better-for-you foods to the U.S. consumers."

The company said Hi-Chew has been steadfast in growing its market share in the U.S. non-chocolate candy category throughout recent years. In light of the U.S. market being a strategic segment of the Morinaga Group's portfolio, the company plans to continue accelerating business growth through new flavor innovation and distribution expansion. The brand's goal is to achieve $250 million in sales by 2030, which is three times the sales Hi-Chew reached in 2021.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds