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Target Taps Outsider As CEO For Needed Shakeup

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —Target is shaking things up.

For the first time in its history, Target hired an outsider to run the company.

Fifty-five-year-old Brian Cornell will take the reins on Aug. 12.

He is the former chief executive of PepsiCo.

Hours after the news broke Thursday morning, Target’s new CEO showed a personable and media-savvy side.

Several photos were posted on Twitter of Brian Cornell posing for selfies with future co-workers at the Minneapolis headquarters.

We’re told he casually introduced himself to the hundreds of employees waiting in line to meet him.

“I spent some time with him today and I can tell you he is incredibly down to earth, very approachable, a really terrific guy, a huge win for Target,” said Dustee Jenkins, a spokesperson for Target Public Relations.

Cornell has a long history in the grocery and retail industry.

In addition to PepsiCo, he was the CEO of Walmart’s Sam’s Club, Safeway, Michael’s Stores.

He joins Target after a rocky year for the company.

A major security data breach, and lagging online sales have left the company struggling to gain momentum.

Jon Seltzer, an instructor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas, says one of Cornell’s major obstacles will be finding a way to compete with online giant Amazon and increasing the number of people coming into the stores.

“I think that’s the biggest challenge for any brick and mortar retailer right now,” he said. “How will you be able to compete with someone being able to shop online with their shoes off at 10:32 at night and have delivery in two days?”

While this is the first time the company has gone outside to hire its CEO, Cornell has ties to Minnesota.

He serves on the board for Polaris Industries.

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