Walmart Hires Former Target Marketing Exec
Walmart is hiring Michael Francis, a former marketing executive at Target at the beginning of 2016. The news comes as Walmart’s chief marketing officer, Stephen Quinn, said he would retire at the end of the fiscal year on January 31.
Francis, who is being hired as a marketing consultant, will be tasked with rebranding the discount retailer as they search for someone to fill the CMO role. He spent nearly 27 years at Target and is known for turning the Minneapolis-based retailer into a cheap-chic place to shop with design partners such as Michael Graves and Missoni.
“If I was still working at Target, my heart would just sink,” a former Target executive told the Wall Street Journal.
Since leaving Target in 2011, Francis’ work has been hit or miss. He served less than a year at department store J.C. Penney under then-CEO Ron Johnson when the company altered its discount-heavy strategy in favor of always-low prices. That didn’t sit well with consumers. AdWeek notes that he also did some work with Gap before moving into his current position at DreamWorks Animation, which he has held for about three years.
TCB reported earlier this year on Target’s efforts to remake itself as it continues to face competition from the likes of Walmart, Amazon and drugstores like Walgreens.