Target’s Brian Cornell to Chair RILA Board

Brian Cornell

Target Corp. Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell was selected as board chairman of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), during the board’s recent semiannual meeting in Tucson, Ariz.

Additionally, Meijer Inc. President and CEO Richard Keyes was elected to RILA’s board of directors, along with Gina Boswell, president of customer development at Unilever; Michele Buck, president and CEO of the Hershey Co.; and Mark Breitbard, president and CEO of Banana Republic, Gap Inc.

Cornell, who succeeds former Chairman Bill Rhodes, president and CEO of AutoZone, will serve a two-year term.

"The past year was one of tremendous change in retail as we saw fundamental shifts in where and how people choose to shop," Cornell said. "We also saw firsthand the power of our industry when we find common ground and advocate for consumers. As RILA's chairman, I'm looking forward to the opportunity to build upon our shared successes and help drive positive change for our customers, our teams and our industry.”

Cornell noted that 2017 was a difficult year for retailers in many respects. “Some once-great brands disappeared, and we saw record store closures and layoffs at levels not seen since the great recession," he observed. "But, I can assure you, retail is anything but dead. The numbers are in, and this holiday season was one of the strongest in years. People all over the world still love to shop, and that's not likely to change. Consumer preferences and shopping behaviors continue to evolve, and we're moving fast to respond and anticipate what's next. Our job is to create more new and exciting ways to elevate the experience in this digital era.”

Among RILA's initiatives, according to Cornell, is its Tech Center for Innovation. “It's all about demonstrating to entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists that there is a sizable market for people and companies who want to develop new tools and applications, services and technology to support our industry,” he said. “Things like innovating AI applications for assets protection, more advanced scheduling technology for hourly workers, tools to promote transparency in our supply chains, and new services that bridge the physical and digital experiences. The work RILA has already done in this area is tremendous, and as we move forward, the sky's the limit on where we can go.”

In addition to Cornell, Keyes, Boswell, Buck and Breitbard, the 2018 RILA board of directors includes Mary Dillon, CEO, Ulta Beauty (vice chairman); Rhodes (immediate past chairman);
James Myers, chairman, Petco Holdings Inc. (treasurer); Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO, Lowe's Cos. Inc. (secretary); Shelley Broader, president and CEO, Chico's FAS Inc.; James Dinkins, president, Coca-Cola North America, The Coca-Cola Co.; Marvin Ellison, chairman and CEO, J.C. Penney Co. Inc.; Alexander Gourlay, co-COO, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and president, Walgreen Co.; Alan Hoskins, CEO, Energizer Holdings Inc.; Joe Jensen, VP, Internet of Things Group, and general manager, Retail Solutions Division, Intel Corp.; Richard Johnson, president and CEO, Foot Locker Inc;.Hubert Joly, chairman and CEO, Best Buy Co. Inc.; Stephen Laughlin, VP and global industry leader, retail, IBM Corp.; Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president, The Home Depot Inc.; Michael Polk, CEO, Newell Brands; Steve Rendle, president and CEO, VF Corp.; Gregory Sandfort, CEO, Tractor Supply Co.;Jill Standish, senior managing director, global retail consulting practice, Accenture; Todd Vasos, CEO, Dollar General Corp.; and Sandra Kennedy, president, RILA.

Arlington, Va.-based RILA encompasses more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.


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