The Star Tribune on Thursday announced the hiring of a new chief financial officer and a vice president for brand and communications.

Stephanie Ness of Target Corp. will take the role of CFO following the retirement of Chuck Brown, a 25-year Star Tribune veteran. Chris Iles of the Minnesota Twins will take the vice president position.

The two executive-level hires are joining Minnesota's largest print and digital daily newspaper at a time when the company is undergoing a period of change and growth. Steve Grove, the state's former employment and economic development commissioner, became chief executive and publisher this year and has implemented sweeping changes in the months since, including creating new positions and eliminating others. Last week, the Star Tribune announced three new leadership roles to oversee news coverage and digital strategy within the newsroom.

"In a word, we're focused on growth. How do we grow the value that we provide to Minnesotans in new and dynamic and modern ways?" Grove said. "At our core, we're about great journalism, great storytelling and helping people feel informed about their communities and doing that through objective, fact-based reporting."

How the company achieves that "is just very, very different today than it was 10 years ago. It's very different today than it was four months ago," he said.

After working in the retail and sports industries, respectively — both of which have faced headwinds of their own — Ness and Iles will contribute to the Star Tribune's changing business model and sell its brand to the public.

Ness began her career in investment banking and has spent 13 years at Target, where she has held multiple finance positions. Most recently, she led finance transformation efforts for the company's financial planning and analysis team, serving as chief of staff for the head of finance planning and analysis.

"I'm excited to bring the skills and the experiences I gained at Target to a new company, and at a point of our history where we're on the cusp of doing some pretty innovative work," Ness said.

"Additionally, one of the things that is really important to me is the community piece of it. The Star Tribune is a very well-known, established media company in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota, and so the opportunity to give back to something that's so close to my community and is so important to the community was also an exciting proposition."

Iles has spent 15 years with the Twins, most recently serving as senior director for brand experience and innovation. In that role, he developed the team's partnership with Techstars, a pre-seed investor that provides mentorship to fledgling companies.

"I see a lot of parallels with what is happening in the media industry and what is happening in the sports industry. Really, people have never had more options for what to do with their discretionary time, attention and income," Iles said.

"To get to play a role in helping save what is the cornerstone of our democracy, in my mind, is incredibly meaningful and will be incredibly meaningful work."

Ness will start Nov. 27 and Iles on Dec. 4.