CVS Health names new CHRO and other HR leadership moves

Laurie Havanec joins CVS Health after more than 20 years in HR leadership, including at Otis Elevator Co., United Technologies Corp. and Aetna.
By: | January 21, 2021 • 4 min read

CVS Health recently named Laurie Havanec as chief people officer. The seasoned HR vet has more than 20 years of leadership experience, including at Otis Elevator Co., United Technologies Corp. and Aetna.

Newly announced CVS Health President and CEO Karen S. Lynch called Havanec an “innovative leader who brings a wealth of experience partnering with executive teams to build strategic, people-focused human resources strategy.”

Laurie Havanec is the new chief people officer at CVS Health.

In her new position, which is effective Feb. 8, Havanec will lead talent, culture and engagement initiatives for CVS’ 300,000 employees.

Most recently, she was executive vice president and CHRO at Otis, where she oversaw all HR functions for the global workforce of 69,000 employees. Havanec, who holds a bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Connecticut, took on the post in the fall of 2019, after two years as the HR leader at United Technologies, Otis’ former corporate parent.

The pandemic hit just months later, an unexpected challenge that Havanec told HRE last year the company “met head-on and successfully navigated thanks to the collaboration, adaptability and resilience of the entire global Otis team.”

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In addition to weathering the challenges of the pandemic last year, Otis responded to last summer’s growing movement against racial inequality with a Commitment to Change, a multipoint pledge to advance social justice.

“We felt an immense responsibility to speak out and commit to think in new ways, address these wrongs and to define the company we want to be—and need to be—for our colleagues,” Havanec told HRE.

Now at CVS, Havanec says she will work in partnership with the business and HR leadership teams to build and maintain “a corporate environment that enables us to achieve our vision to transform healthcare for consumers across the nation.”

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Other recent HR moves include:

Mobile banking platform N26 has named Diana Styles as its new chief people officer. She will oversee employee experience, leadership and organizational development, recruiting, employer brand, rewards and people operations.

Styles previously held senior HR roles at Adidas, Lowe’s and Yum! Brands.

She studied at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and also earned an executive general management certificate from the Harvard Business School Executive Education program.

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Carmen Fernandez was recently appointed as chief HR officer at professional services firm Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.

Previously, Fernandez was CHRO at Guy Carpenter and also held an HR leadership role at Mercer for more than a decade. She previously worked in corporate and investment banking at Bank of America and Goldman Sachs and has also taught in the graduate program at Columbia Business School.

Fernandez earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wellesley College and a master’s of business administration from Columbia University.

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Biotech company GreenLight Biosciences has hired Charu Manocha as chief people officer, a newly created position. The rapidly expanding company brought on Manocha to oversee talent management, culture and DE&I, among other areas of the HR function.

Manocha has nearly 30 years of experience in HR, most recently as group vice president of talent strategies at Bright Horizons Family Solutions. She also held CHRO roles at iRobot, Keurig Green Mountain Inc. and Dana Corp.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in math, physics and computer science from Delhi University and a master’s of business administration from Youngstown State University.

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Alan Smith recently joined AIG Life & Retirement as its head of human resources to manage talent and culture priorities as well as to partner on the rollout of the firm’s multi-year global plan.

Smith comes to AIG Life & Retirement from Whittle School & Studios, where he was the global CHRO since 2018. Prior to that, he held numerous HR leadership roles at TE Connectivity and Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wesleyan University and a master’s of business administration from Columbia University.

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Global business advisory firm FTI Consulting Inc. has appointed Maureen Greene James as vice president of global diversity, inclusion and belonging. In this position, she will focus on deepening the organization’s efforts to attract, retain and develop diverse talent.

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She joined FTI from Cognizant, where she led inclusion and leadership development, including creating and executing the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy. She spent 11 years at PwC in several HR leadership positions and also held HR roles at the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, Washington Mutal and AIG.

Greene James earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Syracuse University and a master’s of business administration from the University of Phoenix.

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Have you or someone who know recently made a move into a new CHRO position? Let us know. Email hreletters@lrp.com

Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at hreletters@lrp.com.

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