Target Taps McKinney Exec Jeff Jones for CMO Post

44-Year-Old Chosen After Extensive Search

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After a search that included both internal and external candidates, Target Corp. has named Jeff Jones as exec VP-CMO. Mr. Jones, who most recently was president at Durham, N.C.-based indie shop McKinney, succeeds Michael Francis, who left for rival JC Penneylast year.

Jeff Jones
Jeff Jones

Said Gregg Steinhafel, Target 's chairman and president-CEO in a statement: "We are very excited to welcome Jeff to the Target team. Not only does Jeff have a proven track record of success in both the development and execution of countless marketing campaigns but Jeff is also a passionate, dedicated leader who understands the importance of working as a team. Marketing is a key differentiator for Target , and I am confident that under Jeff 's stewardship, we will continue to build on our long history of surprising and delighting our guests."

While Mr. Jones, 44, most recently spent time on the agency side, he was the CMO at Gap Inc. and managed the company's gift-card unit, Direct Consumer Services. Some of his experience there should help at Minneapolis-based Target , which owns more than 1,700 stores but also operates a credit-card segment that offers branded credit cards. Mr. Jones also held positions at Coca-Cola, and Chicago-based Leo Burnett.

One of Mr. Jones' first orders of business will be ironing out the agency strategy. The retailer has parted ways with its longtime lead shop, Wieden & Kennedy, and has parsed out the overall account to several shops. The include Minneapolis-based Mono, which is owned by MDC Partners, and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles.

"Target is a brand I've studied and admired as a marketer for more than a decade, and one my family shops almost daily," said Mr. Jones in the statement. "I am ecstatic to lead the marketing team and help shape the future of one of the world's most loved and iconic brands. There has never been a more dynamic time in retailing, and the possibilities for where the guest experience, technology and Target 's positioning converge are boundless."

At McKinney, John Newall, who has been serving as partner and group account director, has been named Mr. Jones' successor.

"We take pride in the depth of talent we have at McKinney," said Chairman-CEO Brad Brinegar in a statement. "I am thrilled to be able to promote someone to this important position from within the agency. We have been grooming John to someday become president, and I am confident we won't miss a beat as he moves into the job."

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