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Target’s chief merchant steps down

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MINNEAPOLIS — Kathee Tesija is leaving her post as executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer at Target Corp., moving into an advisory role with the retailer.

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Kathee Tesija

The company is conducting an external and internal search for Tesija’s replacement, according to Target chairman and chief executive officer Brian Cornell, who said “this role is critical to ensuring Target’s future success.”

Tesija has been responsible for overseeing all merchandising functions at Target, including product design and development, sourcing, inventory management, merchandising, presentation and operations. Her responsibilities also included oversight of the company’s end-to-end global supply chain for Target’s brick-and-mortar stores and for Target.com.

“During Kathee’s nearly 30-year career at Target, she has earned a reputation as an outstanding merchant and business leader who has been instrumental in Target’s growth and our recent efforts to regain our momentum,” Cornell said in a statement.
“Her leadership and countless contributions helped establish Target as one of America’s favorite retailers.”

The decision on Tesija’s departure emerged after conversations between her and ­Cornell.

“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 this role, she will spend the next several months contributing to key enterprise initiatives and ensuring a smooth transition of her ­responsibilities.”

Tesija has spent her entire career at Target, starting in 1986 as a merchandise analyst and steadily climbing through the management ranks. She was named director of merchandise planning in 1995, vice president and merchandise manager in 1999, and senior vice president of merchandising in 2001.

Tesija was named Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer in 2008, and she took on responsibility for the company’s supply chain in 2012.

A securities filing indicates that in addition to receiving a severance package, Tesija will be paid her salary through next spring.


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