Target Corp.'s board of directors has grown by nearly a third in recent months as chief executive and board chairman Brian Cornell has brought on new members whose résumés include Procter & Gamble, Clorox and Safeway.
"It's a new era for Target, and I think they're looking for new board members who are reflective of what Target is trying to achieve," said Amy Koo, an analyst with Kantar Retail.
She added that the recent additions to the board who have a strong background in consumer brands also send a signal to suppliers that the Minneapolis-based retailer still finds those products relevant even as it looks to overhaul its assortment to include more niche and organic labels. The new board members also reflect the background of Cornell, who was a former executive at PepsiCo.
The latest newcomer to the now 13-person board was announced Thursday: Melanie Healey, 54, former group president of the North American division of Procter & Gamble.
A native of Brazil, Healey worked at the consumer products company for more than 25 years before retiring this summer after she did not win the top job.
Dustee Jenkins, a Target spokeswoman, said that Healey brings a strong background in building wellness brands, which is an important focus for Target, as well in improving operations. Target has also been working on the latter as it looks to upgrade its supply chain and reduce its level of out-of-stock merchandise.
In August, Target's board elected two other new board members — Donald Knauss and Robert Edwards. Knauss, 64, is the former chairman and chief executive of Clorox and a former Coca-Cola executive. Edwards, 60, is the former chief executive of grocery chain Safeway and previously worked with Cornell at that company.
Jenkins noted that Edwards' background in groceries will be a big asset to Target as it looks to reinvent its own food offerings.
"As we're embarking on this journey of transformation having a variety of experiences and a proven track record in some of the areas we're focused on is incredibly important," she said.
Target' governance guidelines recommend 10 to 15 board members, but allow for it to have anywhere between 5 and 21 members.
One of the more controversial members of the Target board, James Johnson, retired this year after reaching the board's mandatory retirement age of 72. Johnson, the former CEO of Fannie Mae, received the lowest amount of support at last year's annual meeting, with 63 percent of shareholder votes.
Board member Doug Baker, CEO of St. Paul-based Ecolab, was appointed to succeed Johnson as lead independent director.
Other members of Target's board include Ken Salazar, former U.S. secretary of the interior; John Stumpf, chief executive of Wells Fargo & Co.; Anne Mulcahy, former chief executive of Xerox; Derica Rice, an executive with Eli Lilly; and Roxanne Austin, a former media executive.