Strategy

Target Promotes Mulligan; Smith Returns to Fill CFO Spot

John Mulligan moves into the newly created chief operating officer position and will be replaced as CFO by Cathy R. Smith.
Katie Kuehner-HebertAugust 17, 2015
Target Promotes Mulligan; Smith Returns to Fill CFO Spot

Target CFO John Mulligan will step into a newly created chief operating officer position in September to help reinvigorate the company amid sluggish sales.

Cathy R. Smith, formerly the finance chief of Express Scripts, will succeed Mulligan as CFO of Target.

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“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,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a new release.

Cathy R. Smith

Cathy R. Smith

The appointments are part of Cornell’s strategy to shift Target’s focus back to the areas where it’s strongest — apparel, home goods and toys — while also adding new food categories, according to Bloomberg. The company plans to offer more organic and gluten-free options, as well as popular items like yogurt and craft beer.

Cornell’s “attempting the turnaround amid increased competition from online rivals like Amazon.com Inc. and dollar-store chains,” Bloomberg wrote.

The appointments are part of Cornell’s strategy to shift Target’s focus back to the areas where it’s strongest – apparel, home goods and toys, while also adding new food categories, according to Bloomberg. The company plans to offer more organic and gluten-free options, as well as popular items like yogurt and craft beer.

Cornell is “attempting the turnaround amid increased competition from online rivals like Amazon.com Inc. and dollar-store chains,” Bloomberg noted.

Target’s sales rose 1.9% in its most recent fiscal year, after dropping 2.8% the year before. The retailer is scheduled to report second-quarter results on Wednesday.

Before Cornell came on board, Mulligan served as Target’s interim president and CEO from May to August 2014 while continuing to act as CFO.

Smith left Express Scripts in December after only a year at the pharmacy benefits company.