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Target COO John Mulligan to retire in 2025

Change are happening in Target's executive ranks.

A C-suite shuffle begins at Target in 2024.

John Mulligan, a 27-year-veteran of Target Corp. who has served in his current position of executive VP and COO since 2015, will remain in his role until February 2024, at which time he will transition to a strategic advisor role with the company until February 2025. Mulligan, who is the first Target executive to hold the COO title, will then retire from the company.

Mulligan joined Target in 1996 as a financial analyst. During his tenure with the company, he has held a variety of leadership positions in finance, digital and HR. This includes his time as Target’s CFO from 2012-2015. Notably, Mulligan served as interim president and CEO of Target in 2014, prior to current CEO Brian Cornell joining the company.

As COO, Mulligan has played an instrumental role in the rollout of Target’s “stores as hubs” strategy and has been involved developing and evolving the organization’s fulfillment options, including order pickup, drive up and its same-day delivery services.
“As I prepare to retire next year, I want to start by saying thank you to the Target team, particularly our operations, store and supply chain team members. I’m humbled by the opportunities I’ve had to help grow Target into a Fortune 50 company, fortified by a long-term, durable growth strategy,” said Mulligan. “By maintaining a relentless focus on our guests, we continue to show what it looks like to adapt to meet evolving needs and a constantly changing retail landscape, all while delivering a sense of joy that’s uniquely Target. And what’s even more rewarding is the confidence I have that the best is still to come for this incredible brand.”

The company says it will share additional information on its succession plans for Mulligan prior to his official retirement.

Chief external engagement officer Laysha Ward to retire in 2024

In other C-level transitions, Laysha Ward, executive VP and chief external engagement officer, Target Corp., will shift to a strategic advisor role through April 2024, when she will retire from the company. 

Ward began her career in 1991 as a frontline team member at Marshall Field’s in Chicago. She also spent more than two decades leading corporate responsibility and the Target Foundation.

“First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude. It has been a great privilege to grow alongside the Target brand and team for 32 years, as we’ve expanded from $9 billion in annual revenue and fewer than 500 stores to more than $100 billion and nearly 2,000 stores,” said Ward. “This has been a shared journey of purpose, meaningful relationships and sustainable impact for our business and the community, filled with lessons I will carry with me in service to others.”

“On behalf of the entire Target team, I want to thank John and Laysha for the tremendous impact they’ve had on our team and business during their impressive careers with the company,” said Brian Cornell, chair and CEO, Target Corp. “I look forward to working closely with John until his retirement in 2025 and appreciate the important role he’ll play in setting his successor up for success, and I wish Laysha the very best as she prepares to embark on her next chapter.”

Other C-suite moves

Target also named Matt Zabel as chief corporate affairs officer. Zabel will report to Cornell. Additionally, Kiera Fernandez has been promoted to executive VP and chief community impact and equity officer. Fernandez will be a member of Target’s leadership team and report to Zabel. In her new role, she will assume external stakeholder engagement, and have oversight of the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and corporate philanthropy efforts. 

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. operates nearly 2,000 stores and an e-commerce site.

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