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Target employees immediately rallied around the piece.
“So very #proud to see such bold leadership!” tweeted Dustee Jenkins, a Target spokeswoman, soon after the post.
Even Target retweeted the link.
On Wednesday, Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said the company can’t speak for Jones’ decision to write this piece or why he decided to post it the way he did.
“These are his words,” she said. “But it really is in line with what our leaders have been saying in the last week and a half. We as a company are committed to moving forward and continuing to innovate and evolve.”
She added that the piece has received a tremendous, enthusiastic response from Target employees.
Carol Spieckerman, president of retail consulting firm Newmarketbuilders, said it’s an interesting departure for Jones to pen this kind of response since he’s not been as front and center as a company spokesman as some other members of the executive team.
And she noted that the Gawker piece didn’t necessitate a response — after all, discontented employees often vent about their employers anonymously online and plenty of those go unanswered.
“I just can’t believe it was a spontaneous inspiration on his part,” she said. “I think it was very calculated. I think it was a way of messaging that he wants to see the organization go in the way of change and a new vision.”
So she wondered if this message could portend some drastic changes in leadership and plans for the future.
If Spieckerman had one criticism of the piece, it’s that once again, she said, Target’s leaders are in a reaction mode — reacting to a blog post — instead of being proactive. But overall, she was heartened by Jones’ words because they showed an openness to change.
“Target has an opportunity to depart from this insular concept of culture and to actively pursue opportunities to shake things up,” she said.
Kavita Kumar • 612-673-4113