After a nine-month search, Target has named an insider, Michael Fiddelke, to succeed Cathy Smith as CFO.
Fiddelke has more than 15 years of service at Target, most recently as senior vice president of operations, leading initiatives involving merchandising, supply chain, stores, and guest experience. He was director of finance from 2007 to 2009.
He will take over from Smith on Nov 1. Smith had announced her intention to step down in January after playing an integral role in Target’s turnaround strategy.
“After concluding an extensive global search, it’s clear that Michael is the right leader for this role,” CEO Brian Cornell said in a news release. “With his engineering training and his deep financial experience, Michael is extremely talented at diagnosing and solving complex organizational challenges and driving business results.”
“He is respected as a highly collaborative business partner and will bring a modern approach to financial and enterprise leadership for Target,” he added.
As CFO, Fiddelke will be responsible for financial planning and analysis, financial operations, internal audit, accounting, investor relations, treasury, tax and risk. He will also oversee management of financial products, including Target RedCard.
“He moves into this role at a crucial time for Target, ahead of the upcoming holiday season,” CNBC said.
Analysts have said the new CFO will need to allocate enough capital for the company’s transformation efforts while making sure that it remains tactical about its investment, including spending on its digital shopping platforms.
“The next person in that chair has some big shoes to fill,” Charles O’Shea, a senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service, said when Smith announced her retirement.
Fiddelke, who has an MBA from Northwestern University, joined Target from Deloitte Consulting. He has also worked in the retailer’s merchanding and human resources divisions.
Smith will begin serving as a strategic adviser on Nov. 1 and remain in that capacity until May 1, 2020.