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Target adds Anu Gupta in a newly created role in operations as it fixes basic stock issues


NEW YORK — Target continues to reshape its management under its CEO Brian Cornell who came on board a little over a year ago.

The Minneapolis-based discounter has named Anu Gupta to a newly created role of senior vice president of operational excellence. She will lead a team that will simplify processes across the business to help Target react quickly to shoppers' needs.

Gupta will report to John Mulligan, the company's former chief financial officer who was named last month to a new position of chief operating officer. Gupta joins Target from private equity firm Hellman & Friedman and starts Oct. 12. She previously served as vice president for process and profit improvement at Michaels Stores Inc. and held operational leadership roles at Safeway.

The moves come as Target, like many retailers, confront basic problems like keeping items in stock while responding to shoppers' new ways of buying such as ordering online and picking up at the store.

The personnel change is the latest in a string of moves that Cornell has tried to make Target to be a more nimble player. He also aims to restore its position as a cheap chic purveyor. In August, Target said that Kathryn Tesija, an executive vice president and former chief merchandising and supply chain officer, would shift to a strategic advisory role until she leaves the company in April.

Target is also placing heavy emphasis on fashion, children's goods and products for the home. It's also bringing more organic, natural, gluten-free and locally produced food to its grocery aisles.

Target shares rose 14 cents to $7.90 in afternoon trading on Thursday. Its shares are up about 4 percent so far this year.

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