10 Things You Didn’t Know About Target CEO Brian Cornell

There have been many companies throughout the years that have continued to make their name well known and setting all time high records when it comes to sales and product. One of these said companies that has become one of the most recognized names in the department sales industry has been that of Target. CEO Brian Cornell has continued to strive for the upmost excellence when it comes to the department brand, which has also contributed to his overall success in his position for the past four years. Many often wonder how such successful competitors in the industry make their way to the top, and that is just why we are here. We are going to count down the top ten things that you may not have known about Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell. With that said, let’s get started.

1. Rough Upbringing

Just like many other success stories that we often hear, Cornell had a rather troubled upbringing. He never knew his father, and his mother was unable to work due to her heart disease. Because of all this, Cornell often considers himself being raised by his grandparents.

2. Battle Of The Department Retailers

At the time that the CEO position of Target Corporation became available, Cornell was also approached by J.C. Penny to take over their head of business as well. In the end, Cornell chose to go with Minneapolis based Target Corp, and it seems as though it has been the right choice in the long run.

3. Not His First Rodeo

Aside from popular belief, Cornell has not been with the Target company for a long time — He took the position as CEO of the company back in 2014. However, he certainly has the experience necessary, as he has served as the CEO for several other companies throughout his career. These include PepsiCo, Safeway Inc., Michaels, OfficeMax, The Home Depot, and a few others as well.

4. Entered The Company At A Rough Time

Cornell took the CEO position of Target Corp during a difficult time for the company itself. In case you didn’t remember, in 2014, Target took a huge hit when a credit card data breach afflicted almost all of the Target locations globally. This and other issues caused the former CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, to step down from his position and let some new blood take over. While the company is still trying to compete with other competition, it seems as though Cornell is doing well in his position thus far.

5. Alma Mater

Brian Cornell graduated from UCLA in 1981, and he also decided to continue his education in business and management by enrolling in the UCLA Anderson School of Management ten years later.

6. Making History

Typically, when we see individuals appointed to top positions within companies, they have been with said companies for a number of years. However, in the case of Brian Cornell and Target, he was actually the first ‘outsider’ to have been hired as CEO of the company throughout its 115 year reign.

7. Hands On Approach

Unlike many of the CEOs and COOs that we hear about, Cornell takes a more hands on approach when it comes to discovering how he can improve his company. In fact, Cornell is known to visit a variety of Target locations all across the nation to get an inside look at the customer life, ask questions, and find details that need improvement.

8. Other Positions

Along with his title as CEO of Target, Cornell has also recently added another position to his long career. He currently serves as the chairman for Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), in which he signed on to the position at the beginning of the year. He has also been placed on the board of directors for the brand Yum!

9. Family Life

Brian Cornell has been married to his wife and college sweetheart, Martha, for a number of years. The couple also have two children, Megan and Jonathan.

10. Pay Cut

Here is an interesting fact — In 2014, when Cornell first received the position of CEO of the Target Corporation, his salary was roughly around $28 million (most of which was stock rewards). Jump four years ahead to the current year, and we have seen Cornell take a drastic pay cut as the years have gone on, to the point of him making only $8.3. This is thanks to the company not making its incentive goals in previous years.

While he is still quite new in his position as CEO for Target Corp, it is clear to see that he has made quite a name for himself throughout his entire career and with the new company thus far. We can only hope to see more improvement and growth for both Target and Cornell in the years to come.


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