Australian retailer Target has announced that its managing director, Launa Inman, plans to step down from the role.

The company said today (19 September) that she will remain in the role until a replacement is found, which is expected to be early 2012.

Inman said that after almost seven years in the role, and with a transformation programme to position Target for long-term success now in place, she felt the time was right time to move on.

"I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to lead Target and I am very proud of what the team and I have achieved together during my time as managing director," Inman said.

Richard Goyder, managing director of parent company Wesfarmers, said Inman had done a wonderful job in her role, bringing Target "seamlessly" into the Wesfarmers Group following its takeover of the former Coles Group in 2007.

Inman became managing director of Target in 2005. Wesfarmers said it will undertake a global search for a new leader for the brand.