Target today announced the retirements of two tenured executives. John Mulligan, executive vice president and chief operating officer, has shared his plans to retire. Mulligan will remain in his role until February 2024, at which time he will transition to a strategic advisor role with the company until February 2025. Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief external engagement officer, also shared her plans to retire. Ward will transition to a strategic advisor role through April 2024.
Mulligan joined Target in 1996 as a financial analyst. During his tenure with the company, he has held a variety of leadership positions in finance, digital, and human resources. This includes his time as Target’s chief financial officer from 2012-2015. Notably, Mulligan served as interim president and CEO of Target in 2014. Mulligan was promoted to his current role in 2015. As chief operating officer, he has played a critical role in the successful rollout of Target’s “stores as hubs” strategy and has been a driving force behind developing and evolving the organization’s fulfillment options, including Order Pickup, Drive Up and its same-day delivery services.
Ward began her career in 1991 as a frontline team member at Marshall Field’s in Chicago, where she served as the store’s community captain and realized a career-long passion for the positive impact businesses and their employees can have on the communities around them. She spent more than two decades leading corporate responsibility and the Target Foundation. During that time, she helped pioneer Target’s partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the establishment of St. Jude Target House I and II, which provide free housing and support to families whose children are receiving in-patient cancer treatment, and led the organization’s bold $1 billion pledge to education.
Target also announced that Matt Zabel has been named chief corporate affairs officer. Additionally, Kiera Fernandez has been promoted to executive vice president and chief community impact and equity officer. Fernandez will be a member of Target’s leadership team and report to Zabel. In her new role, she will assume external stakeholder engagement, and have oversight of the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, and corporate philanthropy efforts.