New Target CEO Has Retail, Beverage, Snack Cred

Cornell a veteran of PepsiCo Americas Foods, Sam's Club, Michaels, Safeway

Brian Cornell Target (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Retail)

Brian Cornell

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp.'s board has named Brian Cornell, a former CEO or top executive with PepsiCo Americas Foods, Sam's Club, Michaels and Safeway, as the retail company's next chairman and CEO, effective August 12.

Cornell, 55, joins Target with more than 30 years of experience at some of the nation's leading retail and consumer product companies. As Target's new CEO, Cornell's top priorities will be accelerating the company's performance and advancing Target's omnichannel evolution.

Before become CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, he was responsible for a portfolio that included Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods and all of PepsiCo's Latin America food and snack businesses. And before joining PepsiCo in 2012, Cornell served as president and CEO of Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Cornell also held the position of CEO at craft chain Michaels Stores Inc., and prior to that, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for supermarket company Safeway Inc.

Both Target and Michaels, among other companies, have been the subjects of recent data breaches, compromising customers' personal information. Gregg Steinhafel stepped down as Target's chairman, president and CEO in May after Target's data breach in January.

"As we seek to aggressively move Target forward and establish the company as a top omnichannel retailer, we focused on identifying an extraordinary leader who could bring vision, focus and a wealth of experience to Target's transformation," said Roxanne S. Austin, interim non-executive chair. "The board is confident that Brian's diverse and broad experience in retail and consumer products as well as his passion for leading high performing teams will propel Target forward."

"I am honored and humbled to join Target as the first CEO hired from outside the company," said Cornell. "As we create the Target of tomorrow, I will focus on our current business performance in both the U.S. and Canada and on how we accelerate our omnichannel transformation."

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. serves customers at 1,925 stores--1,795 in the United States and 130 in Canada.