OPERATIONS

Target taps Tesco vet for digital transformation

BY Mike Troy

Target’s goal of becoming a leading omnichannel retailer will be led by Tesco veteran Mike McNamara who joins the company as executive vice president and chief information officer.

McNamara spent 15 years at Tesco, most recently as CIO, and will report to Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell. In his new role, McNamara will have oversight of the company’s technology team and operations, including information security, and will help shape enterprise strategy as a member of the retailer’s leadership team. He succeeds Bob DeRodes who held the CIO role for less than a year following the departure of former CIO Beth Jacob last March in the wake of the 2013 data breach.

“Technology is critical for Target’s future success. So finding the right leader for this role was one of my absolute top priorities,” Cornell said. “Mike has been a driving force for technology innovation throughout his career. He’s got a stellar track record, and I’m excited to see how he’ll help our team continue to push new innovations that enhance the shopping experience for Target guests, both online and in stores.”

The selection of McNamara is noteworthy given his extensive background with Tesco and experience in the U.K. market where e-commerce is more advanced and home delivery of groceries is popular and profitable for retailers, including Tesco’s top competitor, Walmart’s Asda division. His appointment comes one day after Target announced 2015 expansion plans that call for only 15 new stores, half of which are small formats and several months after the retailer announced plans to exit Canada.

According to Target, McNamara was instrumental in modernizing and advancing Tesco’s IT and supply chain worldwide, which helped establish Tesco as an e-commerce pioneer that’s now one of the world’s largest online grocers. Under his leadership, Tesco also ushered in a host of breakthrough in-store technologies such as “scan-as-you-shop” capabilities and launched the company’s innovation lab.

“Tesco is a world class brand and I’m grateful for the time I spent there. Looking ahead, I’m thrilled to join Target at a time when Brian and the leadership team are intensifying their investment in technology and prioritizing its role in Target’s future success,” McNamara said. “I have long admired Target as a retailer and its legacy of putting customers first. To be part of an organization like Target and help shape the future of its technology and omnichannel strategy was a dream opportunity for me.”

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