Target Names Brian Cornell CEO

by Harry Sheff

Target Corp. has named Brian Cornell as its new chairman and CEO—the first outsider to lead the Minneapolis-based company. He starts on August 12.

Brian Cornell

Cornell, 55, was most recently CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, the global food division of Pepsi that includes Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods. His long retail resume includes stints as chief executive of Sam’s Club and Michaels Stores, and EVP/chief marketing officer of Safeway.

“As we seek to aggressively move Target forward and establish the company as a top omni-channel retailer, we focused on identifying an extraordinary leader who could bring vision, focus and a wealth of experience to Target’s transformation,” said Roxanne Austin, interim non-executive chair 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.”

“I am honored and humbled to join Target as the first CEO hired from outside the company,” says Brian. “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.”

Cornell replaces Gregg Steinhafel, who resigned in May after the retailer’s data breach and a rocky start to its expansion to the Canadian market. CFO John Mulligan served as interim president and CEO during the search process.