Who Owns Target? The Store That Keeps You Coming Back for More

Target Corporation is among the oldest surviving retail chains mainly because of its attractive prices and items. Who owns Target Corporation?

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author

Mar. 23 2023, Updated 4:59 p.m. ET

The U.S. may be divided on many things, but there’s one thing most people can agree on — Target is one of the best places to shop. Not only has the retailer stayed true to its promise, “expect more, pay less,” but it has evolved in a way that makes shopping more enjoyable and convenient. While you may know the ins and outs of your local Target store, you may not be familiar with who owns it and how the retailer came about.

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Target Corporation is among the oldest surviving retail chains mainly because of its attractive prices and items. The company has traded hands since its inception (and grown dramatically) and is now owned by many parties. If you’d like to know more about Target’s history and who is currently in control of it, we invite you to keep reading.

Who is the real owner of Target?

Inside a Target store
Source: Target

The majority of Target Corporation is owned by mutual funds.

Mutual funds own over 42 percent of Target, while other institutional investors own more than 39 percent of the discount retailer. The Vanguard Group and SSgA Funds Management, Inc. are Target’s top two shareholders. They own an 8.88 percent and a 7.18 percent stake, respectively, in the company. Another top shareholder is Capital Research & Management Company.

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Who used to own Target?

In 1902, George D. Dayton became a partner in Goodfellow's Dry Goods Company. The next year, he became the sole owner of the company which was then renamed Dayton Dry Goods Company. Then, in 1938, his son, George N. Dayton, became the Dayton Company’s president after his death.

By 1962, the Dayton Company had opened the first Target store. Seven years later, in 1969, Dayton Corporation merged with J.L. Hudson Company to create Dayton-Hudson Corporation. In 2000, the company changed its name to Target Corporation.

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Who is the CEO of Target?

Currently, Brian Cornell is Target Corporation’s CEO and president. He joined the company in August 2014 with over three decades of experience in retail and consumer product companies. John J. Mulligan is Target’s chief operating officer, while Michael Fiddelke is the company’s chief financial officer.

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Target CEO Brian Cornell
Source: Target

Brian Cornell became the CEO of Target in 2014.

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When he took over as Target Corporation’s CEO in 2014, Cornell was the first outsider to lead the company. Cornell worked in leadership positions at several companies including PepsiCo and Walmart. He was the CEO of Sam’s Club and then re-joined PepsiCo. He was in line to succeed former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. Cornell has made several high-profile moves throughout his career, unlike some other CEOs who grow within an organization.

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What is Brian Cornell's net worth?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Brian Cornell has a net worth of $80 million. However, Wallmine puts Cornell's net worth at $93.7 million. It's worth noting that Cornell had a very humble childhood. He did many odd jobs during his childhood and teenage years. He also washed Tropicana trucks at a distribution plant to raise money for his college education.

Later, Cornell worked for Tropicana. He worked there even after PepsiCo acquired the company in 1998. Eventually, he became the president of Tropicana and the president of PepsiCo’s North America Food Services segment.

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What is Brian Cornell's salary?

Target has a 10 percent base pay and a 90 percent performance-linked pay structure for the CEO. According to the company’s regulatory filings, Cornell’s salary was $1.4 million in fiscal 2019. He won stock awards of $13.6 million during the year. He also earned another $3.3 million under the non-equity incentive plan and $592,543 as other compensation.

Overall, Cornell earned $18.9 million as compensation from Target Corporation in fiscal 2019 compared to $17.2 million in fiscal 2018. In fiscal 2017, Cornell’s total compensation was only about $8.4 million. Today, it's believed that Cornell earns between $18 million and $20 million annually. Although it isn't clear just how much stock Target's CEO holds, Celebrity Net Worth says he has about 295,000 shares in his portfolio.

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