Kamau Witherspoon’s career has led him to a wide range of roles in a variety of industries — from retail to healthcare, and even the Navy. But through it all, one thing has remained consistent: his belief in the power of personal connection, team development and a sense of community. And his next role is no different: On Mar. 1, he’ll launch a new chapter as CEO of Shipt. As a leader and a company that both aim to put people at the heart of everything they do, Kamau and Shipt are the perfect match.
To his new role, Kamau brings more than 25 years of experience helping companies grow and thrive. Here at Target, he’s led the team as they’ve strengthened our industry-leading operations, delivering even more ease and speed for our guests. He also played a leading role in Shipt’s partnership with Target, and saw firsthand how Shipt’s last-mile capabilities could be game-changing for business partners and the customers they serve.
After several years of tremendous growth, Shipt has become a household name — offering same-day delivery in nearly 300 markets nationwide by connecting 350,000 personalized shoppers with millions of families every day. Kamau sat down with us to share his thoughts on his new role and the opportunity to continue building on Shipt’s momentum.
Congrats, Kamau! You’ve held a wide range of roles across industries throughout your career. How have they prepared you for this?
I’ve been fortunate to have held positions in everything from retail to healthcare and foodservice, and being able to apply my skills to a variety of locations, industries and functions has made me a more empathetic leader. As a child, I spent years balancing life between my mom’s house in Oakland, California, and my dad’s house in Atlanta. So even early on, I had to learn to navigate very different environments and be the new person in the room. It built a foundation of empathy that’s stayed with me throughout my career, and each different role has allowed me to pick up bits and pieces of goodness that help me be a stronger leader and better support my team. To be able to bring what I’ve learned to Shipt’s next phase of growth is truly my dream job.
Why is this your dream job?
For me, it all boils down to purpose. Shipt built its business around the idea that everybody counts — and that purpose couldn’t be more aligned with my own values. And at Shipt they put that idea into practice every day, and I see it play out in my own life as a Shipt customer. There have been so many times when I’ve been able to be there for friends or family because of Shipt. I recently had a friend whose daughter was in the hospital, and we were able to work with a Shipt Shopper in the area to deliver things they needed right to the hospital. Being there for the people you care about even when you’re not physically in same place means so much — and Shipt makes that possible.
What are you looking forward to most in your new role?
Getting to know the phenomenal Shipt team. Just look at the incredible growth they’ve cultivated in just a few short years — it’s nothing short of amazing. They’ve entered new communities, grown their retail partners and tripled the number of shoppers to offer the convenience of same-day delivery on a greater scale. I’m also excited to learn from Shipt Shoppers — and join them on a shop! — to discover even more ways we can offer them fulfilling and flexible opportunities to grow their businesses as personal shoppers. Plus, in my most recent role, I saw what Shipt can unlock for a retail partner like Target and how Shipt can truly help others reach their business goals. There’s so much potential, and I’m excited to bring that experience to the CEO role as the team continues growing our retail partnerships into the future.
What’s one thing that’s always on your Shipt Shopper’s list?
I have three kids, so we always have several types of milk on the list to keep everybody happy! I’m also always adding Village Salsa. It’s my all-time favorite, and I’m forever grateful to my local Shipt Shoppers for keeping me well-stocked.