Overseer of Target's Canadian expansion quits

Appointed president of JCPenney

MINNEAPOLIS — Michael Francis, Target's EVP and chief marketing officer, and the person charged with leading the retailer's expansion into Canada, has left the company, Target announced Monday.

“We would like to thank Michael for his many contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors” said Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said.

Francis will continue his career as president of JCPenney, effective Oct. 4, where will be responsible for all merchandising, marketing, planning and allocation, and product development and sourcing functions for the retailer. He will report to incoming JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson.

Regarding his new position, Francis said, "This is a tremendous opportunity for me to get back to department store retail. I began my career working on the sales floor of the State Street Marshall Field's in Chicago. It was there where my passion for retail began and my understanding of the power and potential of the department store was formed. I am delighted to join JCPenney and work with Ron and the talented JCPenney team to help accelerate the momentum already taking place."

Back in January, Francis was named the executive committee sponsor of Target’s entrance into the Canadian market. In this role, Francis was to oversee the extension of Target’s brand as part of the corporation’s first-ever expansion of its stores beyond the United States.

At the time of the announcement, Steinhafel said, “With more than 25 years of experience with this corporation, Michael has a deep understanding of Target and the retail industry. His responsibility for corporate brand and reputation including our community relations efforts uniquely position him to lead this effort.”

Target intends to open its first Canadian stores in 2013 and has yet to provide details on who will continue Francis' efforts after his departure.

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