Who Is Mac Crawford?

Edwin "Mac" Crawford is an American business executive who has earned a reputation for turning around the fortunes of struggling companies, particularly in the health-care sector. Crawford's resume within the sector includes the transformation of Charter Medical into Magellan Health and management of the 2007 merger that formed CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS).

Crawford is a co-founder and principal in CrawfordSpalding Group, a business advisory and management services company he formed in 2008 with two former senior executives at Caremark.

Mac Crawford In-Depth

Crawford had been an executive in finance for nearly two decades when he got his first job in the healthcare sector. In 1990, he became executive vice president of hospital operations at Charter Medical, a health supplies manufacturer then in financial trouble.

Key Takeaways

  • Edwin "Mac" Crawford is credited with reviving the fortunes of Charter Medical, which became Magellan Health after a 1995 merger.
  • He was CEO of Caremark when it merged with CVS to create a Fortune 500 health-care giant.
  • Crawford retired from CVS Caremark in 2007 and is now a principal of a business advisory firm.

Crawford is credited with recognizing a shift in industry demand and realigning the company towards outpatient and home health care. By 1992 he was Charter Medical's president and COO. He was named chair, CEO, and president in 1995. 

The same year, the company acquired a rival, Magellan Health Services, and changed the name of the combined company to Magellan Health.

MedPartners Becomes Caremark

In 1997, Crawford moved on to become president and CEO of a physician-practice management company, MedPartners. The company was then struggling with operating losses and close to $2 billion in debt.

Crawford steered MedPartners away from its core service offering of physician-practice management to a new focus on pharmacy benefits management (PBMs). As a benefits manager, Caremark administered prescription benefits for individuals who received their coverage through big corporations, unions, and other organizations.

It also changed the company's name to Caremark and acquired a rival company, AdvancePCS.

Merger Creates CVS Caremark

In 2007, Caremark merged with pharmacy CVS to become the Fortune 20 company CVS Caremark, with annual revenue estimated at $75 billion. By 2019 that figure had grown to about $256 billion.

The deal was described as a "merger of equals," combining the resources of the leading provider of pharmaceutical management services with the nation's largest pharmacy chain. The final deal gave CVS shareholders a slight majority of 54.5% of the combined company, according to The New York Times.

With the merger, Crawford became chair of CVS Caremark but retired from the board and the chairship in the same year.

Crawford was named “Best CEO in Healthcare Technology and Distribution” by Institutional Investor magazine for three consecutive years, 2005-2007.

Born in 1949, Crawford earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Auburn University and began his career as an accountant with Arthur Young & Co. in 1971. He left that firm in 1981 to become the CFO of a succession of small companies before joining Charter Medical.