updated 1/9/2008 4:57:28 PM ET 2008-01-09T21:57:28

In a long-expected move, Target Corp. said Wednesday that Chief Executive Bob Ulrich will retire May 1 and be replaced by President Gregg Steinhafel.

Ulrich, 64, will remain as chairman of the nation's second-largest discount retailer through the end of fiscal 2008. He has been with the company that became Target since 1967 and has been chairman and CEO since 1994.

The company said that during Ulrich's tenure, it has nearly tripled its sales and U.S. stores, and profits have jumped almost ninefold.

Steinhafel, 52, has been with the company since 1979. He became executive vice president of merchandising in 1999 and, in a signal that he was on his way toward the CEO's chair, was named to the board last year.

"During Bob's tenure, Target has achieved outstanding financial results and become one of the most recognized and valuable brands in the world," Steinhafel said in a prepared statement. "I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from one of the best leaders in the retail industry."

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