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Target VP who helped launch Cartwheel is leaving

Alan Wizemann, the Target vice president credited with helping bring Cartwheel to life, is leaving the Minneapolis-based retailer. 

His impending departure was first reported by the online tech news outlet Recode. A Target spokesman declined to comment on the reason for his exit.

Wizemann, who previously worked with Target through his startup ShopIgniter, started off as a consultant to Target and helped bring more of a startup mentality within the company as he helped launch one of Target's most celebrated digital innovations -- its mobile coupon app Cartwheel. The app, which has generated more than $1 billion in promotional sales since it launched in 2013, has been one of Target's biggest digital wins after years of being criticized for being too risk adverse and slow to innovate online.

In an August 2014 story, Wizemann told the Star Tribune how the layers of Target's bureaucracy almost sank Cartwheel before it launched. Target brought him in as a full-time consultant in January 2013 to help salvage the app and hasten decision making processes in the organization.

He pared down the team working on it from 200 to 50. He saw that little decisions would get hung up in committees, so he challenged the company to let him and his team make a lot of the calls on their own. And he pushed the retailer to let them put out Cartwheel in beta form, knowing it wouldn't be perfect and would need tweaks along the way.

“From a company standpoint, it was a pivotal moment of change,” Wizemann told the Star Tribune.

He was hired by Target to be its vice president of mobile and Target.com in June 2013. But he continued to live at his home in Portland, Ore. and would regularly visit the Minneapolis headquarters as well as Target's tech offices in the San Francisco area.

It was not clear whether Wizemann has lined up another job. He could not be immediately reached for comment.

"Kinky Boots" rush tickets at the Orpheum for $25

Tonight is Twin Cities’ debut for “Kinky Boots,” the Tony Award winning musical that took home awards for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography in 2013. Tickets range from $49 to $144 plus taxes/fees, but student/educator rush seats are available for $25 each.

Composed by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, it’s a story that takes the audience from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to fashionable runways in Milan.   

Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Sons. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

With direction and choreography by two-time Tony® Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), KINKY BOOTS is the winner of 6 Broadway Tony® Awards,” according to the write-up on Hennepin Theatre Trust’s site.

Two hours before show time, students and teachers with ID can purchase two tickets per ID at the Orpheum box office. Only cash is accepted.

No lottery/drawing system is held for the general public for “Kinky Boots.”

The shows runs July 28-Aug. 2.