U.S. retailer Target Corporation announced this week the appointment of John Bauer as the retailer’s Executive Vice President, Global Inventory Management.
We highlight this appointment for our blog readers since by our recollection, this may be one of first times that a senior executive has been given titled responsibilities that clearly state global-wide inventory management.
It seems that this week  features multiple new executive leadership appointments involving major retail supply chains. Earlier, we highlighted the appointment of a new supply chain leader for Lowe’s Home Improvement.
According to the Target announcement, Bauer will lead the teams responsible for ordering, inventory positioning, global trade, and domestic transportation, directly reporting to Target’s executive vice president and chief supply chain officer, Arthur Valdez Jr.
Bauer most recently served as chief logistics officer for The TJX Companies, Inc. and held prior supply chain leadership positions at Kohl’s and Starbucks. He previously worked at Target from 1999 to 2007.
CSCO Valdez was recruited by Target in March 2016 after serving 16 years within Amazon’s supply chain organization rising to the leadership role of Executive Vice President, Chief Supply Chain and Logistics Officer. At the time of the Valdez appointment, Target CEO Brain Cornell specifically addressed five strategic priorities, many of which had supply chain connotations.  The first was to become a leader in digital online fulfillment, including direct from store shipping capabilities to manage overall inventory more efficiently.
Valdez has subsequently recruited other supply chain talent from Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers. In November of 2016, Target announced the hiring of Shekar Natarajan to fill the newly-created role of Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Operational Design, reporting directly to Valdez. Natarajan oversees the design of the company’s direct-to-store and direct-to-guest supply chain network, as well as the use of new automation and other technologies to enhance speed, accuracy, and efficiency. He came to Target from an executive role at Walmart.
Two weeks ago, the retailer recruited Gemma Kubat to be the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Engineering and Activation. Kubat previously worked for Walmart as its vice president of global business services. She will also be a direct report to Valdez.
Target is thus adding a lot of deep supply chain leadership to ultimately build-out this retailer’s Omni-channel customer fulfillment capabilities. This retailer’s stated goal is to be able to leverage its network of more than 1,800 stores and transform its supply chain and logistics capabilities. The unique takeaway is the notion that singular leadership of global inventory management is recognized as a key required capability for successful omni-channel fulfillment competency, along with network and advanced technology enablement.
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