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10/05/2022

Target Hires New Leader for its Digital Business

Prat Vemana joins retailer as EVP, chief digital and product officer
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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As digital has grown to about 20% of Target's business, the retailer has named a new chief digital and product officer.

Target has welcomed a new executive to its leadership team. Prat Vemana is joining the retailer as EVP, chief digital and product officer.

Among other responsibilities across the digital business, Vemana will oversee site merchandising, user experience, digital operations and product, and the retailer’s third-party Target+ marketplace. On a broader level, he will support Target’s product teams across the country by bringing a holistic view to the company’s overall strategy.

Prior to joining Target, Vemana was an SVP and chief digital officer at Kaiser Permanente, where he led enterprise product management and experience teams, and accelerated the company’s digital strategy. His career also includes digital leadership roles at The Home Depot and Staples.

“Digital continues to be a major growth driver for Target, and we’re excited for Prat to bring his proven expertise in this area to an elevated role on our leadership team,” said CEO Brian Cornell.  “Our team has created a digital shopping experience that is truly best in class, and under Prat’s leadership, our digital business is well positioned to continue growing for years to come.” 

The new digital leader said that he welcomes the opportunity to grow Target’s digital influence and reach at a time when digital represents up to 20% of its business.  “Target sets the standard for consumer experience in retail and is known for delighting its guests in a way that’s consistent and engaging across every touchpoint,” Vemana noted. “I’m thrilled to join a company that I’ve long admired, and I look forward to playing a key role in shaping the future of Target’s leading digital experience.” 

In “A Bullseye View” company article, he also shared some ways that his broader background in different industries will be instrumental in his new position. “It has led me to develop flexibility and resilience. I believe in adaptive leadership, meaning that it’s important to focus on organizational culture and what is most important for the customers and communities the company serves, creating an environment where the team can succeed and innovate,” he explained, adding, “The collective good outweighs any single engagement — I take a long-term view and have become a stronger leader through every professional experience I’ve had.”

Vemana, who officially joins Target on Oct. 31, will report to Cara Sylvester, chief guest experience officer. This is the latest update to Target’s leadership team following last month’s promotion of Gretchen McCarthy to EVP and chief supply chain and logistics officer and the news that Cornell will stay on as CEO for three more years.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. 

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