Minnesota Gov. Dayton seeks meeting with Target CEO over news of impending headquarter layoffs

Associated Press

Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday he is seeking a meeting soon with Target Corp.'s chief executive about the significant layoff affecting employees at the company's Minnesota headquarters.

Dayton told reporters that he did not get advance warning of the restructuring that Target executives shared with investors on Tuesday. He said he and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith want to hear directly from CEO Brian Cornell about the discount retailer's commitment to the state and how it will conduct the downsizing at Minnesota's largest for-profit employer.

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Target announced that it would cut several thousand jobs over the next two years, primarily at its headquarters that now employs more than 13,500 people.

"I think this could have and should have been handled differently, but that's just my view," Dayton said as he noted the deep roots and huge presence of the company in the state. He called the layoffs "tragic," ''disruptive" and a result of "mistakes and failures of previous Target management."

Cornell took the role as Target's executive in August following a high-level shakeup. Company spokeswoman Molly Snyder was traveling and had no immediate comment on Dayton's request for a meeting or his assessment of Target.

Dayton's family, which built a fortune and a legacy in the department store business, had a big hand in founding Target. But its direct ties have since lapsed.