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Former Safeway exec Gupta joining Target in new role

Target Corp. on Thursday announced the appointment of Anu Gupta to the role of SVP, operational excellence, a new role at the Minneapolis-based retailer.

Gupta, a former executive at Safeway, will lead a dedicated team in simplifying and optimizing processes across the business to help Target become more agile in anticipating and meeting guests’ needs, the company said. She will report to John Mulligan, who begins his position as COO Oct. 12.

Gupta brings more than 20 years of expertise in operations. She previously served as VP for process and profit improvement at Michaels Stores, where she led the improvement of a variety of core business processes including inventory productivity, product delivery lead times and store operations.

Prior to Michaels, Gupta held an operational leadership role at Safeway, and was responsible for creating strategic retail services initiatives. She joins Target from private equity investment firm Hellman & Friedman, where she was senior operating executive with oversight for improving business processes and productivity across its portfolio companies.

Gupta’s appointment comes as Target’s leadership renews its focus on improving operational fundamentals, particularly technology systems and platforms, supply chain and out-of-stocks and the guest experience. The retailer is investing a previously announced $1 billion in supply chain and technology infrastructure this year, and is putting the right teams and leaders in place to spearhead the effort.


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“Anu has a proven track record of increasing effectiveness across every aspect of organizations in a variety of complex businesses, including retail. She brings the right expertise to help simplify our operating processes to be more nimble and sustainable, an important early step as we focus on shoring up our core operations and giving guests an on-demand experience,” said Mulligan.

“My focus upon arriving at Target will be working closely with leaders to help make strides in the efforts to strengthen the fundamentals. I have long admired Target and am looking forward to joining such a talented team and dynamic brand,” said Gupta.

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