Target.com president leaves; questions about departure loom

The president of Target's online division has departed, and the retail giant hasn't specified why.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

There is a new job opening at Target: Target.com president.

Here is Target's statement in full:

Target today announced that Steve Eastman, President of Target.com, has left the company to pursue other opportunities.

Yep, that's it -- at least for now. Although the retail giant hasn't specified why Eastman is up and leaving all of a sudden, there are a few plausible causes.

For one, Target parted ways with Amazon.com to focus more strongly on its own website sales. (Amazon.com powered Target.com, and Target products showed up in Amazon searches).

Although that shift has been in the works for awhile, it's possible that has done more to hurt Target than strengthen its online retail channel. Target.com reportedly crashed on day one without Amazon.

Target.com also suffered a very public meltdown last month when its latest discount designer line with limited edition clothing and home products from Missoni caused the site to crash in September.

Even worse, Target accepted more orders than it could handle, and sent out the following email to customers who had managed to successfully complete online orders:

We’re contacting you because one or more items from your Target.com order (number redacted) are out of stock.

Due to the unprecedented demand for our Missoni for Target collection, we are still working to fill outstanding Missoni orders. Some items may not be available and may need to be cancelled. Items we are able to fill could take up to the end of December to ship.

If you are no longer interested in receiving your Missoni for Target items, please visit either the My Account or Contact Us section of Target.com to cancel.

Within the next 10 business days you will receive additional email communication if any items from your order will be cancelled. We know this is disappointing and is not the experience you expect from Target. We are making improvements to better serve you in the future.

Sincerely, Target.com Guest Services

Sure, it's a well written note, but not being able to follow through on orders is a big no-no for retail. Fortunately, my Missoni bathmat has shipped this week anyway. Unfortunately for Eastman, those two events taken together might have cost him his job.


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