Retail News Breaks Archives
Target's chief marketing officer makes exit
October 3rd, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS – Michael Francis, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Target Corp., has left the company to take the position of president at J.C. Penney Co.
J.C. Penney announced the appointment of Francis, 48, as president on Monday. Plans call for the retail veteran to start in his new post on Oct. 4.
For Francis, the move represents a return to his retail roots. At Penney, he will have responsibility for all merchandising, marketing, planning and allocation, as well as product development and sourcing.
"I am thrilled to welcome Michael to our team," Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney's incoming chief executive officer, said in a statement. "He is an extremely talented executive with the vision and courage to reimagine the department store experience. His ability to innovate and deep understanding of the industry will be invaluable as we set out to transform J.C. Penney into America’s favorite store."
His career began in 1985 as an executive trainee with the iconic Chicago department store Marshall Field, which was acquired by Target Corp.'s predecessor, Dayton Hudson Corp., in 1990. He was appointed Target's executive vice president of marketing in 2001 and was named chief marketing officer in 2008.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for me to get back to department store retail," Francis stated. "I began my career working on the sales floor of the State Street Marshall Field's in Chicago. It was there my passion for retail began and my understanding of the power and potential of the department store was formed."
At Target, in addition to his leadership of the discount store chain's marketing, Francis was responsible for the retailer's entry into the Canadian market, its first foray outside the United States.
"We would like to thank Michael for his many contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Target chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement.
In January, when Francis was given the role in Target's Canadian expansion, Steinhafel paid tribute to his contribution to the retailer.
"Under Michael's leadership, Target has emerged as one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and I am pleased that he will guide our expansion into Canada," Steinhafel commented. "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."