Target taps c.o.o., c.f.o.

by Monica Watrous
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John Mulligan has been promoted to executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Target.

MINNEAPOLIS — John Mulligan, chief financial officer of Target Corp., has been promoted to the newly created position of executive vice-president and chief operating officer, effective Sept. 1. Cathy Smith will join the company as executive vice-president and c.f.o. Both will report to Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target.

Mr. Mulligan joined Target in 1996 as a financial analyst and has held the c.f.o. role since 2012. In 2014, he assumed the position of interim president and c.e.o. from May to August while continuing his responsibilities as c.f.o. In his new position, he will oversee Target’s 1,799 stores, supply chain and properties.

“John has unparalleled expertise in Target’s business, and I am very pleased that he will be assuming this new leadership position,” Mr. Cornell said. “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.”

Cathy Smith, new executive vice-president and c.f.o of Target.

Ms. Smith is a seasoned retail business leader with c.f.o. experience at Wal-Mart International and GameStop, among other companies. Most recently, she was executive vice-president and c.f.o. at Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager with $100 billion in revenues. As Target’s c.f.o., she will be responsible for treasury and tax, internal and external financial reporting and operations, financial planning and analysis, internal audit, investor relations and target’s financial and retail services business.

“As our new c.f.o., Cathy brings significant business and retail expertise to Target,” Mr. Cornell said. “Her background will be integral to accelerating our long-term growth strategy.”

Since taking the leadership role at Target about a year ago, Mr. Cornell initiated a cost-savings strategy that included job cuts at its headquarters and closing approximately 133 unprofitable stores in Canada. Initiatives under way at the retail company focus on growing on-line sales, builder smaller format stores and reworking the stores’ grocery department with an emphasis on natural and organic foods. Target has also revealed plans to test a grocery delivery service as part of an “on-demand shopping campaign.”
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