His departure is the latest in a series of executive changes at Target under chairman and chief executive officer Brian Cornell.
Barra was promoted to executive vice president of merchandising last year. He was one of three merchandising executives who reported to Target’s then-chief merchant, Kathryn Tesija, who stepped down from her post, effective July 6.
Some of Target’s recent moves under Cornell, who took over as chairman and CEO just over one year ago, affect businesses that were under Barra’s direction. As part of his responsibility for health care, for example, Barra had oversight of Target’s pharmacies. Target announced in June that it will sell its in-store pharmacies to CVS Health, which will rebrand them and operate them under its own name.
And back in April Target hired former Safeway executive Anne Dament to help remake the retailer’s grocery business, which was another area under Barra’s oversight.
Barra left the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in 2004 to join Target as strategy group manager. He went on to hold several positions of increasing responsibility, including merchandise planning director, divisional merchandise manager for health care, and vice president and divisional merchandise manager for housewares. He was named senior vice president of merchandising in February 2011.