Keep on growing is Target’s mantra as chain announces leadership moves
Target is not standing on its laurels. The retailer announced earlier this week that it is making changes to its executive leadership team with continuing improvement and growth as the focus.
Christina Hennington was named executive vice president and chief growth officer for the retailer. Ms. Hennington has been with the company since 2003 and “was instrumental in the retailer’s efforts to modernize its merchandising organization, leading the industry by blending its physical and digital buying functions,” according to a press release announcing the move. In her new role, she will work across the organization to identify and act on ways to deepen Target’s relationship with its customers and drive sales.
Jill Sando, who has been with Target since 1997, is being promoted to executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. In that role, Ms. Sando, called a “skilled merchant” in Target’s announcement, will lead buying for all of the retailer’s hard and softline categories.
Rick Gomez, who most recently served as Target’s chief marketing, digital and strategy officer, has been named executive vice president and chief food and beverage officer. Mr. Gomez, who joined Target in 2013, has received kudos for launching the chain’s loyalty programs and playing a major role in driving its digital growth. His experience managing major brands for companies including MillerCoors, PepsiCo and Quaker Oats for more than 20 years is expected to help elevate the retailer’s grocery business, a key traffic driver for Target’s stores.
Cara Sylvester is moving into the executive vice president and chief marketing and digital officer role. Ms. Sylvester, who started with Target in 2007, has served in a variety of merchandising and strategy roles. She most recently served as senior vice president of home for Target, which achieved sales and market share gains under her leadership.
Target CEO Brian Cornell credits much of the chain’s success during his tenure to “the depth of experience” among its executive leadership team. He said the changes just announced will “create new opportunities” for the team members to further elevate Target’s position as a “best in class retailer” in the near and long term.
The retailer posted a 17.2 percent increase in same-store sales during the holiday season driven by a 4.2 percent gain in store sales and a 102 percent jump online. Target, which saw both traffic and ring increases, said it gained market share across its five core categories over the last two months of 2020. It is expected to report its quarterly results on March 2.
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How does Target’s executive leadership stack up against its retail industry peers? What do you expect to be the practical outcome of Target’s creation of the chief growth officer role within its team?