Retail giant Target Corp. continued shaking up its supply chain leadership team last week, announcing June 25 that Kathee Tesija, its executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer, would step down and assume an advisory role while the company launches a search for her successor.
Tesija, who had risen to the rank of executive vice president after a career of 29 years at the company, will make the change on July 6, according to an announcement by Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell.
Target will launch an internal and external search for Tesija's replacement, with the goal of her leaving the company by April 2016, according to a report in Bloomberg News.
Target did not reply to requests for comment.
The personnel move marks another step in Cornell's effort to transform Target from a brick-and-mortar powerhouse to a bigger player in the fast-growing e-commerce sector. In March, Michael Robbins left as senior vice president of global supply chain and logistics after 14 years in the post. Target had grown quickly during that span, expanding from 1,000 U.S. stores in 2001 to 1,795 stores today, second only to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the number of brick-and-mortar American retail locations.
The company lags far behind competitors like Wal-Mart and Amazon.com Inc. in digital sales, however. Target is expected to replace these executives with logistics professionals with more experience in omnichannel commerce and fulfillment.
Cornell unveiled plans in March to revamp the company by slashing several thousand positions over the next two years, mostly at its corporate offices in Minneapolis. He also launched an expansion into omnichannel commerce and fulfillment by announcing a $2 billion capital investment—about half of that allocated to IT and supply chain operations—and to build a cluster of smaller stores in densely populated urban areas.
In replacing Tesija, Cornell will have to find a candidate who can deliver performance across a wide range of responsibilities. The company's website lists her job description as overseeing all merchandising functions of product design and development, sourcing, inventory management, merchandising, presentation, operations, and the company's end-to-end global supply chain for Target stores and Target.com.
Tesija joined Target as a merchandise analyst in 1986, earning a promotion to her current job in 2008 and adding responsibility for the company's supply chain in 2012.
"Over the past several months, Kathee and I have had many discussions about the business and together have decided that it is the right time for her to transition to an advisory role," Cornell said in a statement. "In this role, she will spend the next several months contributing to key enterprise initiatives and ensuring a smooth transition of her responsibilities."