Target CEO Brian Cornell to stay on for three more years, as company scraps retirement age

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Brian Cornell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Target Corporation.
Anjali Sundaram | CNBC

Target CEO Brian Cornell has agreed to stay on in his role for about three more years, as the retailer announced Wednesday that it’s scrapping its retirement age of 65.

“We enthusiastically support his commitment and his continued leadership, especially considering his track record and the company’s strong financial performance during his tenure,” Monica Lozano, lead independent director of Target’s board of directors, said in a news release.

Cornell, who is 63, has been Target’s chief executive since 2014. Under his leadership, the company has expanded its customer base and built on its reputation as a discounter with unique and fashion-forward merchandise. But more recently, Target has grappled with huge shifts in shopping habits with sales slowing and unwanted merchandise piling up.

The company cut its forecast twice, and its quarterly profit fell nearly 90% in the three-month period ended July 30 as it tried to sell off that excess inventory with deep discounts.

Shares of the company are down about 29% so far this year.

Separately on Wednesday, Target said Arthur Valdez, chief supply chain and logistics officer, will retire. He will be succeeded by Gretchen McCarthy, an 18-year Target veteran who is currently senior vice president of global inventory management. She will report to Target’s COO, John Mulligan, effective immediately, as Valdez will serve in an advisory role through April.

Led by Cornell, Target has launched numerous private brands, including for grocery, activewear and home decor. It struck partnerships with prominent national brands, turning parts of its stores into mini shops for Disney, Levi Strauss and most recently, Ulta Beauty. And it launched e-commerce options, including curbside pickup, and turned the back of its stores into fulfillment centers that handle the vast majority of online orders.

Those investments paid off during the Covid pandemic, as Target remained open as an essential retailer and drew shoppers to its website and stores.

Before joining the retailer, Cornell was CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, Walmart-owned Sam’s Club and Michaels Stores.

Sophie Tremblay

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