Casey Carl Is Leaving Target

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Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 10.45.42 AMBy Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune

Casey Carl, a Target Corp. lifer and currently its chief innovation and strategy officer, is leaving the company amid a narrowing of innovation efforts to those that yield faster results tied to its core business.

He is one of the most senior among a number of digital- or innovation-focused executives who have left the Minneapolis-based retailer in the last year.”

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Stratasys Steps Up Student Outreach

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Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 12.08.31 PMBy Dee DePass, Star Tribune

Stratasys Ltd. employees ran a marathon of sorts this week as they dashed to dozens of Twin Cities schools to introduce 3,500 students to the wonderment of 3-D printing.

The effort was the company’s first large-scale effort to instantly reach out to thousands of students about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). It culminated on Friday with 93 students visiting the company’s Eden Prairie headquarters in a partnership with the national black sorority Delta Sigma Theta.”

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Optum’s New VC Arm Invests $7.5M In HealthTech Startup SHYFT Analytics

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Optum-SHYFT-280By Sam Schaust, Twin Cities Business

“The investment arm of Optum, the fast-growing, technology-focused health services subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, recently participated in a $20 million funding round for medtech startup SHYFT Analytics.

Optum Ventures’ investment of $7.5 million pushed Waltham, Massachusetts-based SHYFT over its funding goal. The startup did not specify what its Series B funding round goal was, but it did state the round was oversubscribed.”

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Best Buy’s E-commerce President and CMO Are Leaving

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Best BuyBy Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune

“Two top Best Buy executives are leaving the company as CEO Hubert Joly reshuffles his leadership team’s responsibilities. The two departing leaders are Mary Lou Kelley, Best Buy’s president of e-commerce, and Greg Revelle, the Richfield-based retailer’s chief marketing officer, said sources familiar with the matter. Both executives were hired by Joly in 2014.”

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Target Names New CISO

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Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 6.42.46 AMBy Clint Boulton, CIO.com

“Target has promoted Rich Agostino to CISO, following the departure of Brad Maiorino, who moves to Booz Allen Hamilton’s U.S. commercial business. Maiorino, whom Target hired from General Motors to mitigate a major cybersecurity breach in June 2014, hired Agostino from General Electric as his vice president of information security in September 2014.”

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Best Buy Grew Web Sales Faster Than Amazon And Wal-Mart Last Year

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By Allison Enright, Internet Retailer

Best Buy Co. Inc.’s online sales grew at a faster clip than the U.S. e-retail industry average in 2016, and they outperformed online leaders Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Best Buy’s web sales grew 20.8% for the fiscal year ended Jan. 28 and totaled $4.85 billion. The average growth in U.S. e-retail was 15.6%, per estimates released by the U.S. Commerce Department last month, while Amazon’s product sales clocked 19.4% growth and Wal-Mart’s e-commerce sales grew 15.5% globally.”

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Deluxe Buys Fintech Firm RDM For $70m

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SYjoDzl0Via News Release

“SHOREVIEW, Minn. — Deluxe Corporation (DLX, NYSE) announced today that, through a wholly owned subsidiary, it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent of the stock of RDM Corporation (RC, TSX) of Canada for approximately $70 million US in cash, net of estimated cash to be acquired.”

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Hundreds Of Oculus VR Demos Pulled From Best Buy Stores

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By Alex Heath, Business Insider

“Facebook is closing around 200 of its 500 Oculus virtual reality demo stations at Best Buy locations across the US, Business Insider has learned.

The scaling back of Facebook’s first big retail push for VR comes after workers from multiple Best Buy pop-ups told BI that it was common for them to go days without giving a single demonstration. An internal memo seen by BI and sent to affected employees by a third-party contractor said the closings were because of “store performance.”

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SPS Commerce Downshifts From Growth Mode

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By Alex Van Abbema, Star Tribune

“Shares in SPS Commerce Inc. fell 19 percent Wednesday morning after the Minneapolis software company signaled a slowing of its speedy growth.

In its fourth-quarter results statement issued after the market closed Tuesday, SPS forecast sales growth of 14 percent to 15 percent in 2017, down from the 22 percent growth it experienced in 2016.”

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GeekSquad Academy Seeks Tech Camp Partners In Minnesota

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Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 12.08.50 PMVia News Release

Geek Squad Academy, a Best Buy signature community outreach program, is now accepting applications from nonprofits, schools, libraries and other community groups to host free two-day tech camps for youth this year.  Together, we’ll teach thousands of additional kids across the country the tech skills they need to inspire future education and career choices.”

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