Target announced today that Steve Eastman, president of Target.com, would be leaving to “pursue other opportunities.” Does that mean he was fired because of numerous the website crashes that happened under his watch while the Missoni x Target collection was on sale?
Eastman’s departure comes just a month after Target’s website experienced a rash of shutdowns and failures resulting from enthusiastic shoppers trying to order affordable pieces from the retailers collaboration with Missoni. It was an embarrassment of riches — hundreds of thousands of shoppers wanted to buy the stuff, but only a few managed to get through to the point of sale. The overload resulted in canceled or dropped orders, credit card charges for things that were never shipped or purchased, and generally a lot of bad press. Blogs and news sites all over fashion land pointed the finger of blame at Target, saying it didn’t appropriately anticipate the level of seriousness with which brand-savvy fashionistas would want to snap this stuff up.
Is Eastman is entirely to blame? Maybe. Women’s Wear Daily reports that Target.com recently switched over to its own management after ten years of working with Amazon.com’s Web geniuses on its e-commerce strategy. When the new website launched, Eastman told WWD that the retailer was “in a better position to satisfy our guests’ constantly evolving preferences — whenever, wherever — in the same way we have earned their loyal support in our stores for decades.”
Eastman had been loyal to the company for almost three decades himself. He joined Target in 1982 and was made president of Target.com in 2008.