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Target shakeup continues with new COO


Minneapolis – The ongoing shakeup of senior management that has been occurring at Target Corp. since CEO Brian J. Cornell took the reins in August 2014 is continuing. Target has promoted John Mulligan, who has served as CFO since 2012, to the newly created role of executive VP and COO, effective Sept. 1.

Mulligan will assume oversight of stores, supply chain and properties. Replacing Mulligan as executive VP and CFO will be Cathy Smith, whose career includes stints as CFO at Wal-Mart International and GameStop. Both Mulligan and Smith will report to Cornell.

Mulligan may have proven his capability for a more senior role at Target during his three-month stint as interim CEO from May-August 2014, following the departure of former CEO Gregg Steinhafel. During that time, Mulligan made changes including moving the entire senior management team to the same floor of Target’s headquarters, as well as streamlining corporate governance meetings.

Cornell is attempting to refocus Target’s business on high-growth and performance areas like grocery, e-commerce, home goods, apparel and toys. He wants to improve the retailer’s product selection, and recent changes in Target’s management structure have included the departures of chief merchandising officer Kathryn Tesija and Jose Barra, executive VP of merchandising.

“John has unparalleled expertise in Target’s business and I am very pleased that he will be assuming this new leadership position,” said Cornell. “Bringing together key operations functions under John will put Target on a more progressive path to transformation and help us break down barriers to deliver improvements across our business. As our new CFO, Cathy brings significant business and retail expertise to Target. Her background will be integral to accelerating our long-term growth strategy.”

Mulligan began his career at Target in 1996 as a financial analyst. Since them, Mulligan has held positions including director of finance, director of capital investments, VP of pay and benefits, VP of financial planning and analysis and senior VP of treasury and accounting.

Most recently, Smith served as executive VP and CFO of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

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