In a continuing effort to bolster its omnichannel fulfillment operations, Target Corp. has elevated its chief financial officer John Mulligan to the position of chief operating officer, charged with running the global top-ten retailer's supply chain, stores, and properties.
A 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis-based company, Mulligan has held numerous executive positions at Target, including a three-month stint as interim president and CEO that ended in 2014, when Brian Cornell took over the top spot.
Cornell has moved quickly to bulk up Target's e-commerce muscle in a move to catch up with other retailers. A recent study by consultancy Deloitte ranked Target as the tenth-largest global retailer by revenue, trailing U.S. firms including The Home Depot, The Kroger Co., Costco Wholesale Corp., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Recent changes at Target have followed Cornell's prescription to cut costs through corporate downsizing, invest the savings in IT and supply chain technologies, and shake up logistics leadership of the chain's 1,800 stores and website.
Before naming Mulligan as COO, Cornell had dismissed Michael Robbins, formerly senior vice president of global supply chain and logistics in March, and Kathee Tesija, then the executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer, in June.
The company provided few details on Mulligan's strategy for running the Target supply chain, saying only that he would combine key functions to break down barriers and deliver improvements. Target did not reply to requests for comment.
"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," Mulligan said in a release. "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."
Target also announced it filled Mulligan's vacant seat by hiring Cathy Smith as chief financial officer. She had previously served as CFO at the $100 billion pharmacy-benefit-management company Express Scripts, of St. Louis. Both Smith and Mulligan will begin their new roles on Sept. 1 and report directly to Cornell.