Another bullseye for a top Target executive; Canadian chief replaced


In another shakeup in its executive ranks, Target on Tuesday fired the president of its Canadian operations and announced that he will be replaced by a 15-year company veteran.

The Associated Press reports that Mark Schindele will helm Target Canada, replacing Tony Fisher, effective immediately. Schindele has been the retailer's senior vice president of merchandising operations. A press release by the Minneapolis-based retailer also announced that it will select a nonexecutive chair in Canada to provide counsel and support to the president of Target Canada.

The Toronto Star noted that Fisher was in charge as Target opened 124 Canadian stores last year, but customers were disappointed with prices and selection and the stores have been plagued with inventory problems.The Wall Street Journal story notes Target's foray into Canada "has stumbled badly and been dogged by losses and cost overruns. The retailer lost $941 million in its first year operating in Canada."

Both Fisher, 38, and Schindele, 45, are from the U.S., but 90 percent of the team working in the Canadian operations are Canadian, Target said. Schindele will move to Toronto in his new position.

Schindele will report to Kathee Tesija, chief merchandising and supply-chain officer, whose responsibilities include Target Canada. In a memo to Target employees, Tesija has said that Target has no plans to shutter stores or even slow down in Canada, saying it was “‘all hands on deck” to find the best way forward.

Target is shifting executives as it struggles to revitalize its faltering business in the U.S. while still recovering from the massive data breach. A survey earlier this week indicated that the retailer's customers have not shied away as a result of the data problem.

In addition, the Business Journal reported that John Griffith, Target's executive vice president of property development, will retire at the end of the month. The story said that Griffith, 52, was previously was a top executive for Minneapolis developer Ryan Companies and played a key role in the Vikings stadium deal. He is on the board of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. Griffith will work as a consultant on Target's engagement with economic development organizations in the Minneapolis area.

Earlier this month, Target's longtime President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigned. Target's interim chief executive John Mulligan said one of the company's main priorities is improving performance in Canada more rapidly, adding "we believe it is important to be aggressive."

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