- Target on Thursday announced a series of leadership shifts barely a year after making similar changes. At a time of intense supply issues, the company is elevating its chief supply chain and logistics officer to the leadership team. Already in that role, Arthur Valdez, who jumped to Target from Amazon in 2016, reports as usual to Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan.
Cara Sylvester was again promoted, this time to the new role of chief guest experience officer. Her task is to “further differentiate Target's best-in-class guest experience” and get more shoppers to its stores, website and app, per a company press release.
Brett Craig was promoted to chief information officer, replacing longtime CIO Mike McNamara, who is retiring. Christina Hennington, chief growth officer only since last year, will lead Target in India, overseeing merchandising, product design and sourcing, as well as strategy, insights and growth.
A habit of shaking up the C-suite can be a bad sign, but that's not true at Target. A few of the executives are enjoying back-to-back promotions. In a statement, CEO Brian Cornell called them "the most talented, committed team in retail."
"The updates we're making to our leadership team reflect the size and scale of our more than $100 billion business, while also positioning the company for continued momentum well into the future," he also said.
The retailer, whose most recent quarter marked 19 straight quarters of growth, this year will add to its brick-and-mortar footprint, renovate more stores and invest in its digital, fulfillment and distribution capabilities, all part of a $5 billion plan to scale operations.
Cornell pointed to the company's "tremendous growth over the past two years." But the changes he announced also serve as an admission that growth opportunities will soon be harder to come by, according to GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders.
"Target’s management moves come from a position of strength, but they are also made with the realization that over the next few years it is going to be much, much tougher to generate growth," he said by email.
That means doubling down on its successes, optimizing operations and eliminating barriers to growth, according to Saunders.
"Nowhere is this truer than in the guest experience where customer friction and frustrations need to be minimized and delight needs to be amplified," he said. "It is interesting and significant Target has created a new role here, that now assumes responsibility for technology. Similar to a lot of retailers, this is about putting the customer first and making sure technology and wider operations serve the needs of shoppers."
In addition to the other changes announced Thursday, Target said that Matt Zabel has been promoted to general counsel.