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Two high-level female executives were floated as possibilities. One was Kathryn Tesija, who joined Target as a merchandise analyst in 1986 and now serves as executive vice president of merchandising and supply chain. A University of Wisconsin-Stout grad, Tesija was given more responsibilities after the data-breach fallout and has led the successful rollouts in recent years of its Phillip Lim and Missoni designer lines.
Tina Schiel joined Target a year after Tesija and is now executive vice president of stores, overseeing nearly 1,800 stores and 300,000 employees. Her current slate of responsibilities includes new formats such as the smaller footprint CityTarget stores as well as international opportunities.
Another oft-mentioned insider was John Mulligan, Target’s chief financial officer who was named interim president and CEO by the board on Monday. Mulligan was the public face of Target when grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the data breach.
A name from the past?
Several past Target execs surfaced as possible replacements, as well, including former vice chairman Gerald Storch. Storch, who led Target’s early foray in e-commerce, was passed over for the top spot when Ulrich retired and went on to lead a successful tour as CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us. Storch wouldn’t say Monday if he’s interested, but he did recently join the board of Eden Prairie-based grocery firm Supervalu Inc. as chairman.
Doug Scovanner, Target’s longtime chief financial officer, retired in 2012 but is still active in retail as the interim executive vice president of finance and accounting at Hudson’s Bay Co., the Toronto-based parent of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor.
A long shot would be Target’s former chief marketing officer, Ron Johnson, who left Minneapolis to run Apple Inc.’s retail operations before attempting a disastrous turnaround at J.C. Penney Co.