Target Tabs PepsiCo’s Cornell as New Chief

Brian Cornell

Brian Cornell

MINNEAPOLIS-Target has named Brian Cornell, former CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, as its new chairman and CEO, succeeding Gregg Steinhafel, who left the mass merchant in May.

Cornell will assume his new post on Aug. 12. According to a Target statement, his first priorities will be “accelerating the company’s performance and advancing Target’s omnichannel evolution.”

John Mulligan, who had served as interim CEO after Steinhafel’s departure, will return to his previous role as chief financial officer when Cornell takes on his new position.

As head of PepsiCo’s Americas Foods, Cornell was responsible for a portfolio that included Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods and all of the company’s Latin America food and snack businesses. Prior to joining PepsiCo in 2012, he was president and CEO of Walmart’s Sam’s Club division. He also served as CEO of Michaels Stores and executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Safeway.

Roxanne Austin, interim non-executive chair of Target’s board, said, “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. 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.”

Cornell said, “I am committed to empowering (Target’s) talented team to realize its full potential, lead change and strengthen the love guests have for this brand. 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.”