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Target drops executive retirement policy, allowing CEO to stay on for three more years

The company’s old retirement policy had set a target retirement age of 65 for CEOs.
Image: Target CEO Brian Cornell
Target CEO Brian Cornell.Jerry Holt / Star Tribune via Getty Images file

Target announced Wednesday that Brian Cornell will remain CEO for approximately three more years after the company's board voted to eliminate a retirement policy that could have forced his exit.

Cornell, 63, has led Target since 2014. Since coming on that year, Target's share price has more than doubled — and at one point was up more than 400%.

The company's former retirement policy had set a target retirement age of 65 for CEOs.

"By taking care of our guests, our team, our communities and our shareholders, Target has added nearly $40 billion in annual revenue since I joined the company, and in many ways, we’re just getting started," Cornell said in a statement. "Our success is fueled by the best team in retail, and I am confident our culture will continue to propel our company forward. I appreciate the board’s confidence, the opportunity to keep serving our guests, and the chance to continue leading Target in the years ahead."

Cornell has also served as CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, Sam’s Club and Michaels Stores.

"In discussions about the company’s longer term plans, it was important to us as a board to assure our stakeholders that Brian intends to stay in his role beyond the traditional retirement age of 65," said Monica Lozano, lead independent director of Target's board of directors. "We enthusiastically support his commitment and his continued leadership, especially considering his track record and the company’s strong financial performance during his tenure."

Target was seen as a business winner during the pandemic as shoppers flocked to its curbside delivery. But this year, Target has dealt with a glut of inventory sparked by a shift in consumers' purchasing habits as the pandemic eased and inflation surged. In May, Target shares plunged 32% after the company reported a 52% drop in profit. It reported another drop in profit last month.

Shares in Target were up more than 1% in Wednesday trading.