Target CEO shakes up executive committee

Target (NYSE:TGT) is shaking up the executive suite by relocating and renaming its executive committee as the retailer tries to implement changes and break the bureaucratic barriers put in place by prior leadership.

The retailer is relocating all top executives to new offices on the same floor of its Minneapolis headquarters in an effort by Interim CEO John Mulligan to break down barriers and change the corporate structure. The executive committee will now be called the "leadership teams," according to a memo announcing the changes.

Four longstanding groups within the organization are targeted for change. The supply chain council, the prototype council, design committee and capital expenditure committee are being restructured to eliminate a layer in the approval process.
"All across Target, we need more 'leadership' and less 'committee,'" Mulligan said in a memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Jones and new CIO Robert DeRodes are being moved to the 26th floor alongside Mulligan and Kathryn Tesija, executive VP. The office floor is being redesigned to have a more open floor plan to help foster more collaboration.

Target's executive structure has been criticized as being bogged down in bureaucracy, slow to react and implement change. That kind of static corporate environment can trickle down into stores, where merchandising initiatives have failed to create the kind of excitement of years past.

Mulligan said in the memo that the 26th floor will become a "hub of real-time action and decision making, open to everyone."

Traffic to Target stores has declined for six straight quarters, and the retailer has lost nearly $1.6 billion since its entry into Canada last year. And then there's the ongoing recovery efforts following a massive data breach that compromised the personal and credit card information of more than 70 million shoppers.

The changes come in advance of Target's annual shareholder meeting to be held tomorrow, June 11 in Dallas. The message is that Target is moving quickly to right what's wrong and is a company preparing for its future.

Mulligan told employees that a space within Target headquarters known as the "vision, mission and values wall" will be dismantled. "We'll modernize that space in the months ahead, and when it's done, it will reflect the company we're becoming, which we're all creating together," Mulligan said in the memo.

For more:
-See this Wall Street Journastory
-See this Star Tribune story

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