MEET HELENA BUONANNO FOULKES
Helena Foulkes is an experienced CEO and senior executive with a track record of delivering results by building high performance teams, innovative consumer-driven launches and digital transformation. She is known as a purpose-driven leader who has made significant impacts on organizations and industries. Helena was the President of CVS pharmacy where she led many groundbreaking innovations, including the elimination of tobacco in its 8000 stores, and she led a successful turnaround of Hudson’s Bay Company, an international retailer. She most recently sought the Democratic nomination for governor of Rhode Island.
Foulkes was CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company from February 2018 to March 2020, where she led the most significant transformation of the business, ultimately creating a path to the successful privatization of the company. She reinvented the organization by streamlining the operating structure, building the leadership team, overseeing strategic transactions, and overhauling the operating focus of HBC.
Prior to HBC, Foulkes spent 25 years at CVS Health, most recently as President of CVS Pharmacy, a position she held from January 2014 to January 2018. She led the strategic vision as well as the operations for all aspects of the company’s retail business and was the principal architect of the company’s move to becoming a recognized leader in healthcare. Over the course of her time with the company, she played an important leadership role in growing CVS to the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. Foulkes is known as a consumer innovator, having led teams on efforts such as the development of the CVS loyalty program, the company’s efforts to drive digital innovation and the elimination of tobacco.
Helena is a strong advocate for investing in high-quality public education and believes that great public schools are the key to a strong, equitable economy. During her campaign for governor, fixing Rhode Island’s struggling public school system was her top issue.
Helena has received numerous professional honors, including being named to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business lists four times as well as Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business. As a candidate for governor, she received the Boston Globe’s endorsement.
Foulkes serves on the boards of Skillsoft, Harry’s Inc., and mPharma. She is a member of the CEO Advisory Council for Salesforce. She has also served on the boards of The Wallace Foundation, The National Bureau of Economic Research, the National Boys and Girls Clubs Board and the Dodd Center for Human Rights Advisory Board at the University of Connecticut. Helena holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband. They have four grown children.