Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

There was a Target on his back after botched expansion here

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NEW YORK -- Target has fired the president of its troubled Canadian operations, Tony Fisher, and is replacing him with a 15-year U.S. company veteran in a bid to address inventory issues and bring customers back into its stores.

The executive shakeup in Canada comes two weeks after the abrupt resignation of Target's CEO and chairman Gregg Steinhafel.

The third-largest U.S. retailer announced Tuesday Mark Schindele, 45, who was senior vice-president of merchandising operations, will now run the Canadian operation. Target's expansion into Canada last year marked its first foray outside the U.S. but it has struggled with weak sales and losses. The changes are effective immediately.

Schindele has played a key role in launching a new store format including an expanded grocery area, as well as Target Express and CityTarget in the U.S. He has also led a global team and provided senior-level oversight to Target's merchandising operations, including systems, global sourcing and product development.

Schindele will report to Kathee Tesija, chief merchandising and supply chain officer, whose responsibilities include Target Canada.

Target, based in Minneapolis, also said it will be naming a non-executive chairperson in Canada. In its newly created advisory role, the chairperson will provide counsel and support to the president of Target Canada to ensure all strategies and tactics align with the Canadian marketplace.

The company also announced the promotions of three senior merchandising executives in its U.S. division as it tries to be more nimble in bringing trendy products into stores more quickly.

Target is trying to fix its flailing operations in Canada, its first foray outside the U.S., while revitalizing business in the U.S. It's also trying to recover from a massive data breach in the U.S. that has cost it customer trust.

The botched Canadian expansion and the data breach were the two main factors behind Steinhafel's departure. Target's chief financial officer John Mulligan is serving as interim CEO while Target searches for a new leader.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 21, 2014 B6

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