Target CEO to Retire
Minneapolis Target Corp. announced on Wednesday that Bob Ulrich will step down as chief executive, effective May 1. He will be replaced by Target president Gregg Steinhafel. Ulrich will remain chairman through the end of fiscal 2008.
Ulrich, 64, began his career as a merchandising trainee in 1967 at Dayton’s, a former division of Target Corporation. In 1994, he was named chairman and CEO of the corporation.
Steinhafel, 52, joined Target in 1979 and served in a variety of merchandising positions until being named executive VP, merchandising in 1994. He was appointed president in 1999 and became a member of the board of directors in 2007.
“During Bob’s tenure, Target has achieved outstanding financial results and became one of the most recognized and valuable brands in the world,” Steinhafel said in a prepared statement. “I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from one of the best leaders in the retail industry.”
Kirkland’s President and COO Steps Down
Jackson, Tenn. Home-decor retailer Kirkland’s Inc. said Monday that Catherine David, its president and COO, has resigned, effective immediately.
Chief executive Robert Alderson will assume David’s responsibilities. The company currently doesn’t plan to seek a replacement.
Kirkland’s did not give a reason for David’s resignation in its statement and a company spokesman said he couldn’t offer any further comment on the announcement.
Shakeup at Starbucks
New York City Starbucks Coffee Co. has ousted CEO Jim Donald and replaced him with former CEO and chairman Howard Schultz after posting its worst annual performance in U.S. trading. Donald, 53, is leaving Starbucks less than three years after becoming chief executive.
Schultz told executives in a February memo that the company’s expansion was “watering down’ its brand. Starbucks, which faces competition from McDonald’s Corp.’s new specialty coffee counters, now plans to shift money that was earmarked for U.S. growth toward international expansion. It also plans to shutter some U.S. stores.
“Howard is the architect of the Starbucks brand and the visionary behind the unique customer experience that is at the heart of this remarkable company’s success,” said Craig Weatherup, chairman of the Starbucks board of directors’ nominating and corporate governance committee.
“Given what the board believes needs to be done, there is no better person to drive change and ensure that Starbucks is positioned to innovate, execute and relentlessly focus the entire organization on the customer.”
Starbucks said Schultz intends to speed Starbucks’ expansion overseas while streamlining the company’s management ranks. The company wouldn’t say how many stores it would close and declined to detail its revised growth plans until it reports fiscal first-quarter earnings on Jan. 30.
The chain has lost 29% of its stock price since Donald took over in April 2005. The shares fell 42% last year amid investor concern that the company was adding new stores too quickly.
The chain also faces increased competition from McDonald’s, which recently announced it plans to add counters to serve lattes and cappuccinos in almost 14,000 U.S. stores. The chain made the announcement after U.S. coffee sales increased 39% during the first nine months of 2007.