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Shipt Names New CEO

Kamau Witherspoon was SVP of operations at Target
Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
Kamau Witherspoon

Nationwide same-day delivery and last-mile industry company Shipt is getting a new CEO.

Former Target SVP of operations Kamau Witherspoon will join the company as its new chief executive on March 1. He and Shipt’s current CEO Kelly Caruso will work closely together in the coming months during the transition period, the company said.

Witherspoon has served as SVP/operations at Target since 2018. In that role, he was responsible for the company’s operational planning and prioritization, partner operations, M&A integration, and process improvement initiatives across supply chain, stores and properties. Previously he served in various roles at Target from 2007 to 2015, including senior director of store operations. Previously, he was SVP, operational performance and readiness at UnitedHealthcare, leading new business integration, M&A integration, operational strategy and field operations. And he also held the position of chief restaurant excellence officer for the KFC U.S. division of Yum! Brands leading the overall transformation of operations. Witherspoon served in the United States Navy from 1996 to 2007, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He is a graduate of Morehouse College, and received his MBA from Old Dominion University.

“Kamau’s vast experience leading teams and operations at scale will help drive Shipt’s continued growth and deepen the commitment to its team, partners, customers and shoppers,” said John Mulligan, Shipt board chairman and Target COO. “Under Kelly’s strategic leadership, Shipt has experienced more growth than at any point in its history by bringing a personalized shopping experience to millions more U.S. families. Kamau’s operational expertise and vision for the future will build on Shipt’s momentum as an innovative last-mile company.”

Acquired by Target in 2017, and run independently in Birmingham, Ala., Shipt has grown from serving dozens of markets to now reaching nearly 300 metropolitan areas nationwide – and growing. Guided by its purpose to spark connections to show how every person counts, since 2020, Shipt has tripled its network of shoppers and doubled its retail partners to offer same-day delivery that’s differentiated by customer service.

“The incredible growth Shipt has realized reflects the strength of its differentiated business model and the value its network of personal shoppers delivers to millions of customers with each and every delivery – and I couldn’t be more excited to lead the company into its next chapter,” said Witherspoon. “With momentum in our business and a talented, purpose-driven team, I’m confident Shipt will continue to stand out as the premier choice for same-day delivery for both our loyal customers and expanding network of retail partners.” 

Witherspoon succeeds Caruso who has been the company’s CEO for the past three years. During the transition, Caruso will remain in an advisory role.

“Leading the Shipt business and team has been one of the true highlights of my career,” said Caruso. “I am grateful to the team for their dedication and drive, to our retailer partners for their partnership and trust they place in us each and every day, to the Birmingham community that has embraced all of us, and to Shipt Shoppers who are out in communities each and every day bringing the magic.”

Caruso will remain in role as CEO through March 1, when Witherspoon joins the company. She will transition to an advisory role through April 1. Last year, Caruso was honored as Progressive Grocer's Top Women in Grocery Trailblazer.

Witherspoon and his family will be relocating to Birmingham this year.

Available to 80% of households in more than 5,000 U.S. cities, Shipt is a wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 1,900 locations.

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