Target communications chief Dustee Jenkins to exit this month

Jenkins will depart the retailer after a seven-year career there. Earlier, she worked at Public Strategies and was a Capitol Hill staffer.

Dustee Jenkins
Dustee Jenkins

MINNEAPOLIS: Dustee Jenkins, SVP and chief communications officer at Target, is departing the retailer after seven years.

Jenkins confirmed her exit to PRWeek; her last day at the retailer will be June 23. She will be replaced by Katie Boylan, communications VP at Target.

Boylan has been promoted to SVP of communications; she will lead all internal and external communications for Target, but will not inherit the title of chief communications officer.

Jenkins deferred comment to Joshua Thomas, senior director of communications. Thomas declined to comment on why Jenkins is departing the retailer.

"We thank [Jenkins] for her significant contributions to Target and wish her well in the future," Thomas said via email.   

Jenkins started her tenure at Target in 2010 as VP of PR. She was promoted to SVP of communications and joined the company’s executive team in August 2015 and later added chief communications officer to her title.

Jenkins worked on the launch of the brand’s first online magazine, called A Bullseye View, and helped to introduce CEO Brian Cornell in 2014. She also managed communications responding to its 2013 data breach.

In January 2015, Cornell asked Jenkins to take over internal communications. Jenkins and her team created Target’s internal morning email newsletter, known as Briefly.

Prior to joining Target, Jenkins was director of Public Strategies’ Dallas office and director of communications for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in President George W. Bush’s administration.

Boylan joined Target in 2011 to lead category public relations. Her role has since been expanded to focus on corporate communications, internal communications, and leadership of the company’s online news magazine, A Bullseye View.

The company has also appointed Tammy Redpath as SVP and president of Target India. Beginning in September, Redpath will oversee the day-to-day operations of Target’s office in Bangalore, which has about 2,500 team members in fields ranging from technology and marketing to HR, finance, and data analytics.

Redpath was most recently SVP of marketing, overseeing a global creative and operations team with disciplines in strategy, digital, project management, production, and experiential marketing.

Target promoted Rick Gomez to EVP and CMO at the end of January, replacing Jeff Jones, who departed the company last September to join Uber as president of ridesharing. Jones has since resigned from Uber.

In January, Amazon poached Jamil Ghani, Target’s SVP of strategy and innovation, to run the Amazon Prime membership business in international markets as VP. Target’s chief innovation and strategy officer, Casey Carl, also left the company in May after 20 years. Last September, Target’s chief digital officer, Jason Goldberger, departed. He was recently named CEO of Blue Nile, one of the oldest online jewelers.

Target reported a 1.3% decline in same-store sales in the first quarter, a smaller drop than analysts expected, according to CNBC. Earlier this year, the company began investing more than $7 billion over the next 36 months to respond to changing customer preferences, the network reported.

Target announced a bathroom policy inviting transgender customers and employees to use the bathroom of their choice in an April 2016 blog post without Cornell approving the message first, according to an April story in The Wall Street Journal

This story was updated on June 14 with additional information.

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