Since Mike McNamara became Target's chief information officer last June, he's ushered in a completely new direction for the retailer's IT department. When he joined, McNamara focused on what he believed were the company's weaknesses: too much outsourced tech talent; unstable systems; and too many projects on the docket. Soon after, he began putting his plan into action, including going on a hiring spree aimed at making Target an engineering powerhouse instead of relying on contractors.
Total Retail's Take: McNamara’s efforts, as well as the clout he holds within Target’s C-suite, is yet another sign of a new era in retailing. For years, it was the marketers and product designers who ran the show at Target, while tech folks were more of an afterthought. But as online shopping has disrupted the entire industry, technology and supply chain, which are the key ingredients in Amazon.com’s meteoric rise, have become more central to Target's mission.