Home Depot and Staples veteran Prat Vemana is set to join the Target leadership team on Oct. 31, 2022, as EVP, Chief Digital and Product Officer.
Vemana, who will report to Chief Guest Experience Officer Cara Sylvester, is tasked with overseeing all of Target’s digital business, which currently represents 20% of the retailer’s total operations. Specific areas of responsibility will include site merchandising, user experience, digital operations and product and the retailer’s third-party marketplace Target+, as well as supporting the company’s product teams to bring a holistic view to overall product strategy.
Vemana joins Target from Kaiser Permanente where he served as SVP and Chief Digital Officer, leading the healthcare company’s enterprise product management and experience teams. During his time at Kaiser he modernized the organization’s platforms and implemented critical consumer experience enhancements, including the redesign of the company’s mobile app and launching same-day home delivery for its pharmacy business. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Vemana held digital leadership positions at The Home Depot and Staples.
“We know our guests choose Target because our shopping experience offers them a sense of joy and ease that can’t be beat, and our digital business plays an increasingly outsized role in bringing that to life for the millions of people who regularly visit our stores, website and app,” said Sylvester in a statement. “With his experience leading digital businesses across consumer-facing industries and a guest-centric vision, Prat is the ideal leader to further accelerate Target’s digital growth and maximize our impact for guests, team members and our business.”
Vemana’s appointment comes one month after it was announced that Target CEO Brian Cornell will remain at the helm for approximately three more years, beyond the company’s traditional retirement age of 65. The move was widely seen as a hedge against a downturn in Target’s business — net earnings were down 90% in Q2 2022 from the same quarter in 2021.
“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 Cornell in a statement. “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.”