Target Corporation: Ackman Versus the Board

Posted: 30 Oct 2009

See all articles by Krishna Palepu

Krishna Palepu

Harvard University - Harvard Business School; Harvard University - David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Research; Harvard Business Review; NBER; International Academy of Management

Suraj Srinivasan

Harvard Business School

James Weber

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 9, 2009

Abstract

After 15 years of great performance, Target's faltering performance during an economic downturn led an activist shareholder to initiate a proxy fight. Target Corporation, the second largest discount store retailer in the U.S., had competed successfully against industry leader Wal-Mart for years by promoting an upscale discount shopping experience in comparison to Wal-Mart's focus on low prices. This strategy worked well for Target in good economic times. The economic crisis of 2008-2009, however, caused shoppers to abandon Target in favor of Wal-Mart. In the spring of 2009, one of Target's largest shareholders initiated a proxy fight to place his five director nominees on the board. Target won the proxy fight, but still faced questions about whether it had a strategy that could work in both good times and bad.

JEL Classification: A23

Suggested Citation

Palepu, Krishna and Srinivasan, Suraj and Weber, James, Target Corporation: Ackman Versus the Board (October 9, 2009). HBS Case No. 109-010, Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1495760

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Suraj Srinivasan

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James Weber

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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