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News and Trends / Target

Last Week, Brian Cornell Resigned From Pepsi. Now He's Target's New CEO.

- Guest Writer
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In May, Target gave its former CEO Greg Steinhafel the ax as it worked to recover from the devastating hack job that compromised the personal data from millions of shoppers over the holiday season.

In wake of the firing John Mulligan, Target's chief financial officer, stepped up as interim CEO until a suitable replacement was found.

Three months later, Target thinks it's found its man, not from within the company but from outside it:  Brian Cornell, a former Pepsi executive, has just been named the company's new CEO.

Related: Target's CEO Steps Down. But Why Now?

Cornell resigned from PepsiCo earlier this week, where he served as the chief executive of PepsiCo American Foods (a division that includes Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods and PepsiCo's Latin American food and snack businesses) since 2012. Previous executive stints include time at Sam's Club, where he served as president and CEO, Michaels Stores, where he also served as CEO and Safeway, where he was the executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

“I am honored and humbled to join Target as the first CEO hired from outside the company," Cornell said in a statement. “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.”

Cornell will take the reins of a company that has stumbled recently – store traffic has slumped in the last year, in part because of the holiday data breach but also due to increasing competition from online retailers. In addition, he must decide how to handle the company's mismanaged push into Canada, an expansion that, according to The Wall Street Journal, has already cost the company $1.6 billion. 

Related: Target Falls for the Terrifying 'Thigh Gap' Trend and Totally Gets Busted

Target to Get Tough With Vendors to Speed Up Its Supply Chain