Target Corp.’s Robert Ulrich will retire as chief executive officer on May 1 and will be succeeded by Gregg Steinhafel, who is currently president.


Steinhafel has been the retailer’s merchant prince of and critical to its strategy to be the most fashion-forward of the nation’s major discounters.


Ulrich, who turns 65 in April, will remain as chairman through the end of fiscal 2008 in February 2009. He’s been considered the architect of the chain’s national expansion.


His departure comes at a time when Target’s rate of sales growth and Wall Street appeal has slipped.


Jim Johnson, vice chairman of the executive committee of Target’s board of directors, said, “The board has tremendous respect for Bob’s exceptional leadership and the remarkable performance Target has achieved under his direction. His skill and integrity have created a highly successful organization and talented executive team which are admired throughout the retail industry. We are completely confident in Gregg’s ability to continue this legacy, positioning Target to deliver profitable growth for many years to come.”


For more, see Thursday’s issue of WWD.



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