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MINNEAPOLIS -- In the latest step of Target Corp.'s ongoing effort to reboot the company’s top brass and build a stronger infrastructure in the wake of last year's highly publicized data breach, the retailer's board of directors named Brian Cornell as its new chairman and CEO.
Cornell joins Target with more than 30 years of experience at some of the nation’s leading retail and consumer product companies. In his new role, Cornell’s top priorities will be accelerating the company’s performance and advancing Target’s omnichannel evolution.
Cornell picks up the reins from interim boss John Mulligan, and is the permanent replacement for Gregg Steinhafel, who left the post in May but has stayed on as an advisor during the transition of power.
Cornell most recently served as CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, where he oversaw the company’s global food business, the largest of PepsiCo’s four divisions. He was responsible for a portfolio that included Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods and all of PepsiCo’s Latin America food and snack businesses.
Before joining PepsiCo in 2012, Cornell served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He also previously held the position of CEO at Michaels Stores Inc., and prior to that, was executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Safeway.
“As we seek to aggressively move Target forward and establish the company as a top omnichannel retailer, we focused on identifying an extraordinary leader who could bring vision, focus and a wealth of experience to Target’s transformation,” said Roxanne S. Austin, interim non-executive chairman of the board. “The board is confident that Brian’s diverse and broad experience in retail and consumer products, as well as his passion for leading high-performing teams, will propel Target forward.”
Cornell is the latest new executive to join the Minneapolis-based retailer since last fall's data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of Target shoppers. Since then, Target has hired a new chief information officer and information security officer, and formed a digital advisory council.
“I am honored and humbled to join Target as the first CEO hired from outside the company," Cornell said. "I am committed to empowering this talented team to realize its full potential, lead change and strengthen the love guests have for this brand. As we create the Target of tomorrow, I will focus on our current business performance in both the U.S. and Canada and on how we accelerate our omnichannel transformation.”
Target operates 1,925 stores across the United States and Canada.