Target Corp. said it promoted Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan to the newly created position of chief operating officer, starting next month. Mr. Mulligan will be succeeded as finance chief by Cathy Smith, whose previous experience includes serving as finance head at St. Louis-based pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co. The moves are the latest in a series of management changes under Target Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Cornell, who recently wrapped up his first year at the retailer's helm. Mr. Cornell has moved to focus Target on core categories such as baby, kids and wellness products, exited its money-losing foray in Canada and laid off thousands of employees. Mr. Mulligan, a longtime company veteran, has been finance chief since 2012. He served as Target's interim chief executive last year from May to August, in addition to his duties as finance head. In his new role, Mr. Mulligan will be responsible for the oversight of stores, supply chain and properties. On Friday, Target said Jose Barra, an executive vice president who headed up merchandising for a number of large categories including beauty, electronics and grocery, was leaving Target for a new position. His departure came a little more than a month after the retailer's top merchant, Kathryn "Kathee" Tesija, stepped down after a long career, leaving a void at the top of the division that is in charge of picking and selling all the products on Target's shelves. Target is set to report its second-quarter financial results on Wednesday.
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