Target finds its new CEO

Target announced this week its first-ever outside hire as CEO. Brian Cornell brings a mix of CPG and retail background to Target, including stints at Pepsico, Sam’s and Michaels. My comment at RetailWire reflects some caution about whether he can fix what really needs fixing at Target. If he can empower his merchants and other members of his team, the appointment should be a win:

Some of the initial reaction I’ve read pushes back on Mr. Cornell’s Pepsi background, ignoring the time he has spent at retailers like Sam’s and Michaels. The real question is whether he can shift the spotlight back onto apparel and home decor — always Target’s “calling card” for brand differentiation — and away from food and consumables. His background raises a caution flag, but with luck the Target board identified somebody with the leadership and strategic skills that the company needs right now.

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