According to the Star Tribune, a top marketing executive at Target recently left amidst recent turmoil. Shawn Gensch, senior vice president of marketing, resigned to “pursue other opportunities,” the company said in a brief statement. “Shawn had a successful 10-year career with Target, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” the statement said.
Gensch’s departure is being seen in the industry as the first major shake-up in Target’s marketing team since Executive Vice President Jeff Jones joined the company as their CMO. It also comes during a tumultuous time for the retailer who is not only struggling to grow sales; but, they also recently ran into trouble as "unauthorized access" was obtained on 40 million card holders' accounts. Gensch was a longtime finance executive who switched to marketing in 2008 and became senior vice president two years later. He has helped oversee projects like last year’s “Falling for You," Target’s Doll House exhibit in Grand Central Station, and outreach to the Hispanic community.
At one point it was believed that Gensch was the top internal candidate to replace former marketing chief Michael Francis. Jones, an outsider who previously served as president of the McKinney advertising agency, ultimately got the job. Under Jones’ tenure, Target has tried to move beyond its traditional store-based marketing campaigns into more innovative digital projects that rely heavily on social media.