Chief Merchandiser Stepping Down At Target
The shakeup at Target continues and this time it’s hitting one of the highest ranked officials: Kathee Tesija, chief merchandising and supply chain officer, is leaving.
Tesija, a 29-year veteran of the company, will step into an advisory role as of July 6 to help tie up loose ends and begin the transition process for a new executive. “Over the past several months, Kathee and I have had many discussions about the business and together have decided that it is the right time for her to transition,” CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement.
Tesija was regarded as one of the most important figures Target, where she was responsible for the “look” of stores and had a final say on all products sold. Some believed she was a likely successor to former-CEO Gregg Steinhafel before he stepped down, according to the Star Tribune.
“During Kathee’s nearly 30-year career at Target, she has earned a reputation as an outstanding merchant and business leader who has been instrumental in Target’s growth and our recent efforts to regain our momentum,” Cornell said. “Her leadership and countless contributions helped establish Target as one of America’s favorite retailers.
Though the language sent out in company releases portrayed an amicable separation made by consensus, it appears that Tasija’s leave is involuntary. In a filing with the SEC, Target said Tasija would cease to be an executive officer as of July 6 and be employed on an at-will basis until April 1, 2016.
During her time as an advisor, Tasija will continue to receive her base compensation. In a proxy filing to the SEC, the company said her fiscal 2013 salary amounted to $950,000. That was only a small portion of her compensation that year: She received over $5.8 million in stock awards during the same time period.
Tasija joined Target in 1986 as a merchandise analyst and worked her way up through the ranks. She was named the head of merchandising in 2008. In 2012, the company added the responsibility of maintaining the company’s supply chain to her role.