CMO 50: Cara Sylvester

Executive vice president and chief marketing and digital officer, Target

After a successful and quick embrace of pandemic-proof contactless services including same-day pick-up, drive-up and delivery, Target was one of the few retailers to emerge from COVID stronger. Cara Sylvester climbed up the ranks as Target’s first female EVP and chief marketing and digital officer in February, and she’s already shaking things up. 

A 13-year Target vet, Sylvester was most recently behind Target’s brand campaign, released in May, which focused on the retailer’s commitment to helping families access affordable essentials with the tagline: “What we value most shouldn't cost more.” Set to run through the end of the year, the campaign signifies an era of flexibility for Target as shopping habits evolve. Sylvester was previously SVP of merchandising for Target’s home business, which has grown into a major focus area for the retailer, and has worked at various departments across the business including beauty, skincare, stationary and beverages, giving her a wide breadth of experience.

Target emerged strong in a fiercely competitive e-commerce landscape that hit a boiling point this past year. Sales shot up more than $15 billion in 2020, larger than its total sales growth over the past 11 years combined. Target plans to invest $4 billion annually in remodeling, new locations and infrastructure. 


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