Target’s C-suite Shuffle

The big-box retailer is mixing up its senior leadership team in an attempt to capture more market share amid a troubling retail environment.

By Kellie Ell on February 16, 2021

Target is mixing up its c-suite.

The big-box retailer on Tuesday revealed a number of senior-level leadership changes in an attempt to capture even more market share amid the challenging retail environment.

“At the core of Target’s success is the most talented team in retail,” Brian Cornell, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “The depth of expertise across Target’s leadership team in particular has been a critical driver in Target’s winning strategy and the excellence of our operations. The changes we’re announcing create new opportunities for key leaders to bring their knowledge and experiences to different areas of the business. I’m confident these moves will drive Target’s position as a best-in-class retailer today and well into the future.”

The changes — effective immediately — include naming Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer; Jill Sando, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer; Rick Gomez, executive vice president and chief food and beverage officer; Cara Sylvester, executive vice president and chief marketing and digital officer, and Katie Boylan, executive vice president and chief communications officer.

Hennington, who joined Target in 2003, will be in charge of merchandising, a new position, while Sando will oversee buying of both hardlines and softlines, reporting directly to Hennington. Sando started with Target in 1997. Gomez, a MillerCoors, PepsiCo and Quaker Oats alum, was named the new chief food and beverage officer and executive vice president, succeeding Stephanie Lundquist. Gomez joined Target in 2013, and will lead the retailer’s food and beverage expansion.

Sylvester, who has worked in a variety of leadership roles across strategy and merchandising since 2007, has been tasked with strengthening Target’s brand awareness and loyalty programs while stimulating increased digital growth.

Boylan, who “has played a critical role in advancing and protecting Target’s reputation during her more than 10 years with the company,” will oversee corporate communications and social responsibility initiatives, including an increased focus on sustainability and philanthropic efforts, such as the Target Foundation.

Meanwhile, the Minneapolis-based retailer continues to be a leader in the retail and fashion industries amid the pandemic. Its mix of essential and discretionary items helped the company log more than $1 billion in profits in the most recent quarter. Shares of Target, which closed down 0.08 percent to $190.59 Tuesday, are up nearly 62 percent, year-over-year, as result, with a market cap of more than $95 billion.

Brands that once competed for shelf space in department stores are now making moves for a spot in Target’s ecosystem, both in stores and by way of its e-commerce business. Some examples include luxury lingerie brand Journelle, Levi’s Red Tab products, New Zealand beauty brand Monday Haircare and Ulta Beauty, which will debut in about a 100 Target stores and online in the back half of 2021.

But even among its own brands, Target is growing its bottom line. Earlier this month, the retailer revealed its popular All In Motion activewear brand had become a billion-dollar brand, marking the firm’s 10th owned-brand to surpass that level in revenues.

In addition, in January, the company said it would invest an additional $200 million in employee bonuses. Target also revealed plans to pay frontline team members up to four hours of pay and Lyft fare for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.