11/23/11

After multiple site crashes, Target.com has a new leader

The new multichannel chief, Casey Carl, also keeps his merchandising job.

Thad Rueter , Senior Editor

Target Corp. late Tuesday afternoon appointed a new executive to oversee its e-commerce operations, which have absorbed at least five major site outages since the redesigned Target.com launched in August. Casey Carl becomes the retail chain’s president, multichannel, effective immediately.

Carl, 36, replaces Target.com president Steve Eastman, who stepped down after the site, two years in development, crashed for the second time since its debut. Unlike Eastman, Carl also has oversight of the retailer’s mobile and social initiatives, a Target spokeswoman tells Internet Retailer.

Carl, who began his Target career in 1997, also keeps his previous job as senior vice president, merchandising, meaning he bears responsibility for the chain’s entertainment, toys, sporting goods and electronic businesses. That gives him a more holistic view of the chain’s needs that involves not only e-commerce but other retailing aspects, the spokeswoman says. She didn’t link any of the site outages to the decision to keep Carl in his merchandising job, but the first crash for the new Target.com took place when the retailer launched a heavily promoted sale of apparel from luxury Italian clothing brand Missoni.  The traffic from that sale apparently overwhelmed the site, according to web performance experts.

Carl had been involved on at least one of the retailer’s multichannel committee efforts, but had no direct involvement in the redesign and launch of Target.com, the spokeswoman says. Carl reports to Kathlee Tesija, the chain’s executive vice president, merchandising.

“We are firmly committed to implementing a multichannel strategy that enables our guests to engage with Target anywhere, anytime,” Tesija says. “Under Casey’s leadership and with the support of a strong team, we are confident that we will continue to improve our digital operations.”

The spokeswoman would not detail what Target is doing to ensure that its e-commerce site functions well during the holiday shopping season, except to say that its technical staff is working “around the clock” to make sure the site remains operational.

Target is No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Topics:

Casey Carl, Kathlee Tesija, m-commerce, mobile commerce, site outage, site redesign, social media, Steve Eastman, Target, Target.com, Top 500

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