- Target CEO Brian Cornell has committed to staying in the role for roughly three more years, the company said in a press release.
- Cornell, 63, will pass Target’s traditional retirement age for its chiefs. With Cornell’s extension, Target’s board scrapped its policy, designed to “initiate a discussion regarding the possible retirement of its CEO at the age of 65,” the company said.
- Target also announced that Arthur Valdez, chief supply chain and logistics officer, will retire. Gretchen McCarthy, who served as Target’s senior vice president for global inventory management, will take over effective immediately.
After joining Target in 2014, Cornell led the retailer through multiple upheavals in the retail world, from the rapid expansion of Amazon and e-commerce to the many disruptions and swings of the pandemic era.
In the release announcing his commitment to stay, Cornell noted that Target has added $40 billion in revenue since he came aboard. “[A]nd in many ways, we're just getting started,” he said.
Before joining Target, Cornell had held top executive roles at retailers and consumer companies, including Safeway, Michaels, Walmart’s Sam’s Club and PepsiCo.
Arguably his most pivotal moment as Target chief came in early 2017, when, after facing sales declines, his executive team announced a $7 billion investment in the company’s stores and digital capabilities, as well as a revamp of its private brand offering.
Today the moves may be seen as common sense retail strategy. At the time, with endless talk of “the Amazon effect,” investors were skeptical that dumping billions into a legacy retailer’s stores was such a good idea.
Since then, customers have flocked to its brands and small-format stores, as well as its omnichannel services, including its curbside Drive Up offer, which took off during the pandemic along with Target’s top line.
Its recent inventory problems aside, Target along with Walmart has written the retail blueprint for both competing with Amazon and for operating amid a pandemic and the many supply and demand earthquakes it has brought.
So it comes as no surprise that the company would stick with its leader. “In discussions about the company's longer term plans, it was important to us as a board to assure our stakeholders that Brian intends to stay in his role beyond the traditional retirement age of 65,” Monica Lozano, lead independent director for Target’s board, said in the release.
Target’s new supply chain chief — which is as critical a role as it’s ever been — has been with the company for 18 years. Cornell called McCarthy “a proven leader who will bring a deep understanding of our business operations, and a highly collaborative, solution-oriented approach to leadership.”
McCarthy’s appointment is effective immediately. She reports to Target Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan and has been partnering with Valdez on the transition. Valdez is set to stay on in an advisory role through next April.