Target CEO Brian Cornell's speaking event postponed as country awaits Chauvin verdict

Brian Cornell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Target Corporation.

Anjali Sundaram | CNBC

An event featuring Target CEO Brian Cornell has been postponed as the nation awaits the jury’s verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

The big-box retailer is one of the largest corporations in Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd was killed and where the trial is taking place.

Cornell was scheduled to speak at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday at a virtual event hosted by the Economic Club of Chicago. According to the event’s description, Cornell planned to talk about the changing retail landscape and the company’s commitment to Chicago.

Lisa Emerick, vice president and chief marketing and engagement officer for the Economic Club of Chicago, said Tuesday afternoon that the event would be rescheduled in light of the impending verdict. Target couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The jury’s verdict is expected to be read between 4:30 and 5 p.m. ET Tuesday, according to a notice from the court.

As a prominent Twin Cities-based company, Target has been uniquely close to Floyd’s killing. Some of its stores were damaged during the unrest that followed his death. One store, located not far from where Floyd died, had to be completely rebuilt.

Following Floyd’s killing, Target was among the companies that made commitments to advance racial equity within its walls and beyond. Earlier this month, the retailer said it would spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025. That includes the launch of a new program to help discover Black entrepreneurs and get more of their products on its shelves.

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Last year, Target pledged to increase the number of Black employees by 20% over the next three years.


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