Target’s innovation head to depart


MINNEAPOLIS — Target is losing a senior digital executive.

Casey Carl, chief innovation and strategy officer, is leaving the retailer, effective May 5. His departure, first reported by The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, comes as the chain has been reducing some of its innovation initiatives, including a store of the future with robots, to focus on efforts that have a faster payback.

Casey joined Target in 1997, and held a variety of roles in merchandising, negotiations, operations and digital. Prior to being named to his current position, he was president of omnichannel and senior VP of enterprise strategy.

Target CEO Brian Cornell announced Carl's upcoming departure in an e-mail to headquarters employees.

"Innovation is alive and well at Target," Cornell wrote. "Our new leader's job will be to build upon the progress we've made. And while this leader will play a critical role in Target's innovation story, it's not a story they will write alone. Innovation must be a mind-set, an essential component of every business, every strategy and every team."

Carl is credited for such projects as Target Open House in San Francisco, which showcases smart technologies in a futuristic home-like setting, and Target’s retail accelerator program, done in partnership with Techstars.

In his own email to employees, Carl wrote that he hopes to continue to explore disruptive strategies for growth and innovation, the report said.

“It's no secret that there's been a lot of change recently at Target and this is the right time for me to pursue what I'm most passionate about and builds upon what I've started here," he wrote. 

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