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Target shakeup reaches the top levels: Head merchandising executive leaving

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Target announced a change near the top as it continues to streamline its operations at corporate headquarters in Minneapolis.

Kathryn "Kathee" Tesija, executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer, will be leaving the company, a news release says. She's been with Target for 29 years and at her current role since 2008, her bio says.

Tesija will move into an advisory role starting July 6 to ensure "a smooth transition of her responsibilities," CEO Brian Cornell said in the release, adding:

"This role is critical to ensuring Target’s future success and we are conducting a comprehensive external and internal search for a new leader. On behalf of the entire Target team, I want to thank Kathee for all she has done on behalf of our company, brand, and team.”

The Star Tribune says Tesija's departure shows the "remaking of Target ... has stretched to the highest levels of the company." With the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal noting this is the "first major shakeup" in the company's executive suite since Brian Cornell took over as CEO last summer.

Target began cutting jobs earlier this year when it closed the company’s Canadian stores. In early March, executives at the company told investment analysts that it planned to eliminate “several thousand” corporate positions over the next two years in order to streamline its operations.

Thousands of jobs have been cut since the retailer’s exit from Canada, most of which came in mid-March at Target headquarters in Minneapolis when 1,700 people were told they had lost their jobs on a single day, with 1,400 open positions also eliminated.

About 100 administrative assistants were laid off in May, about 180 tech operations positions in India were eliminated earlier this month, and last week 140 more people were let go.

Target could ay off more employees following the sale of its pharmacy business to CVS, which is expected to be finalized later this year, the Business Journal reported.

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