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Target Creates COO Role For Mulligan, Names CFO

John Mulligan
John Mulligan

Target Corp. on Monday promoted John Mulligan to the newly created role of EVP and COO, effective Sept. 1. Mulligan will assume oversight of stores, supply chain and properties. Joining Target as EVP and CFO will be Cathy Smith, a seasoned retail business leader. Both Mulligan and Smith will report to Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell.

“John has unparalleled expertise in Target’s business and I am very pleased that he will be assuming this new leadership position. 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,” said Cornell. “As our new CFO, Cathy brings significant business and retail expertise to Target. Her background will be integral to accelerating our long-term growth strategy.”

Cathy Smith
Cathy Smith

Mulligan has worked at Minneapolis-based Target since 1996, when he began as a financial analyst. He has served as the company’s CFO since 2012. In 2014, he led the company as the retailer’s interim president and CEO from May to August while continuing to act as CFO. Throughout his tenure at Target, Mulligan has served in key leadership positions in finance and human resources, including director of Target.com finance, director of capital investments, VP of pay and benefits, VP of financial planning and analysis and SVP of treasury and accounting.

“Integrating operations will help further fuel Target’s transformation and as COO, I’ll prioritize driving improvements in the fundamental areas of our business and equipping the team to move quickly,” said Mulligan. “By working strategically across the enterprise, we will build on the critical capabilities that will fuel Target’s differentiation in the marketplace. Achieving operational excellence is foundational to Target’s long-term success.”

The retailer will report its second quarter financial results on Aug. 19 and host a conference call with investors where Cornell, Mulligan and Smith will participate. Mulligan also will serve as an advisor to Smith throughout her transition into the company and the role. Smith will formally join the company on Sept. 1.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the Target brand and the team behind it,” said Smith. “I look forward to continuing Target’s strong record of financial management and playing an active role as Target makes gains on its long-term strategic plan.”

Prior to joining Target, Smith served as EVP and CFO at St. Louis-based Express Scripts, a Fortune 20 company and the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager with $100 billion in revenue. She also has held CFO positions at Walmart International, GameStop and others. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her MBA from the University of Southern California. As CFO at Target, Smith’s responsibilities will include treasury and tax; internal and external financial reporting and operations; financial planning and analysis; internal audit; investor relations; and Target’s financial and retail services business.

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