- Shipt has appointed Kamau Witherspoon, who is currently a senior Target operations executive, as CEO, effective March 1, the same-day delivery company announced on Tuesday.
- Witherspoon will assume leadership of Shipt from Kelly Caruso, another Target veteran who has served as chief executive since early 2019.
- Shipt is handing control to a retail executive steeped in logistics as the company looks to expand against stiff competition from rival e-commerce providers.
Witherspoon's arrival at Shipt follows a period during which the Target-owned company has rapidly built its presence with retailers.
Caruso, who took Shipt's helm after serving as Target's senior vice president of hardlines, will "work closely" with Witherspoon during the executive transition and serve as an advisor to the company until April 1, Shipt said.
Under Caruso, Shipt has grown from reaching about 80 million U.S. households in 250 markets to having a presence in 5,000 cities and being available to 80% of the nation's households. In September, Shipt unveiled what it called its biggest nationwide expansion in three years, adding almost 1,000 more store locations to its fleet and expanding same-day delivery to more than 2 million additional households.
In the announcement about Witherspoon, Shipt noted that since 2020, it has tripled its shopper network and doubled the number of retailers it works with to offer same-day delivery service. John Mulligan, Shipt's board chairman and chief operating officer of Target, credited that growth to Caruso, but indicated that having a chief executive with operations expertise will build on the company's momentum as it focuses on last-mile innovation.
Witherspoon has served since December 2018 as senior vice president of operations for Target, according to his LinkedIn profile. In his position at Target, Witherspoon oversaw operational planning, partner operations and process improvement efforts involving the retailer's supply chain, stores and properties, according to the leadership change announcement. In that role, Witherspoon was also responsible for mergers and acquisitions integration.
Before joining Target, Witherspoon served as senior vice president for operational performance and readiness at health insurer UnitedHealth Group. Earlier, he was chief restaurant excellence officer for the KFC U.S. division of restaurant operator Yum Brands.
In a Q&A posted on Target's website, Witherspoon said he plans to tap his experience working with Shipt at Target to help the delivery company expand its reach even further. "There’s so much potential, and I'm excited to bring that experience to the CEO role as the team continues growing our retail partnerships into the future," Witherspoon said.
Target purchased Shipt in 2017 in a $550 million transaction but the e-commerce company, which was founded in 2014, operates as an independent subsidiary.
Shipt's decision to hire Witherspoon follows the announcement last summer by archrival Instacart that it had hired former Facebook executive Fidji Simo as CEO, replacing Apoorva Mehta, Instacart's founder.