Target abandons retirement policy, CEO Cornell to remain in top job

Target announced Wednesday that CEO Brian Cornell agreed to continue leading the retailer for about three more years and its board eliminated the company’s mandatory retirement age policy.

The move allows 63-year-old Cornell, who has led the company since 2014, to remain in the top job past age 65.

“In discussions about the company’s longer term plans, it was important to us as a board to assure our stakeholders that Brian intends to stay in his role beyond the traditional retirement age of 65,” Monica Lozano, lead independent director of Target’s Board of Directors, said, noting that the company has had strong financial performance during his tenure.

The Minneapolis-based chain had been accelerating its online services such as curbside pickup and same-day services while sprucing up its stores well before the pandemic. During the height of the health crisis, Target became a lifeline to millions of people trying to limit their exposure during the pandemic.

Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target, listens to testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee on tax reform on Capitol Hill, May 23, 2017. (Reuters/Joshua Roberts / Reuters Photos)

The company also focused on investing in employees over the past few years. Target hiked its minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2020. Earlier this year, the company upped its starting wage range from $15 to $24 for workers across its stores, supply chain facilities and headquarters locations. 

TARGET PROFIT SLUMPS AS DISCOUNTS FAIL TO SPUR SPENDING BY INFLATION-WEARY CONSUMERS

At the same time, the company also enhanced its health care benefits, such as offering free virtual physical therapy and enhanced fertility benefits. Target says employees will also have faster access to 401(k) plans.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TGT TARGET CORP. 163.58 -1.02 -0.62%

But the company, like its competitors, is wrestling with surging inflation that has shifted consumer trends yet again. Target reported solid sales for the fiscal second quarter, but its profit plunged nearly 90% after it was forced to slash prices to clear unwanted inventories of clothing, home goods and electronics.

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A shopping cart is seen in a Target store in the Brooklyn, New York, Nov. 14, 2017. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid/File / Reuters Photos)

Before joining Target, Cornell spent more than 30 years in escalating leadership positions at retail and consumer-product companies, including executive roles at Safeway, Michaels, Walmart’s Sam’s Club and PepsiCo Americas Foods.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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