MINNEAPOLIS Target Corp. chairman Bob Ulrich revealed today he will retire as chief executive officer May 1, but will remain the company’s chairman. Succeeding him as chief executive officer will be Target president Gregg Steinhafel.
Ulrich is a veteran of the upscale discount giant, and has served as chairman and chief executive officer since 1994. He began his career as a merchandising trainee in 1967 at Dayton’s, a former division of Target, and subsequently held a variety of positions in stores and merchandising. He was named president of Target Stores in 1984 and became chairman and chief executive officer of the division in 1987.
Under Ulrich’s leadership, Target has nearly tripled its sales and U.S. store presence—it now operates 1,591 stores in 47 states—and has increased its net earnings nearly nine-fold. Equally important, the company has also succeeded in establishing a clear and undisputed market niche as the nation’s premier upscale mass merchandise chain, and one of its largest pharmacy operators.
“During Bob’s tenure, Target has achieved outstanding financial results and become one of the most recognized and valuable brands in the world,” said Steinhafel. “I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from one of the best leaders in the retail industry.”
Jim Johnson, vice chairman of Target’s executive committee, credited Ulrich for “exceptional leadership and the remarkable performance Target has achieved under his direction.”
Ulrich, who turns 65 in April, will remain as chairman through the end of fiscal 2008.