Retailer Toys R Us Tuesday said it selected Gerald Storch, the former vice chairman of rival Target Corp (TGT), as its chairman and chief executive.

The CEO role has been vacant since the chain's $6.6 billion sale last year to private equity group Global Toys Acquisition LLC, a consortium made up of Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, and Vornado Realty Trust .

With his Target background, Storch comes from one of the few retailers that has performed well in the face of cutthroat competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT). Toys R Us, however, struggled under the weight of Wal-Mart competition.

Storch, 49, joined Target in 1993 and was vice chairman from 2001 to 2005, with responsibilities including its technology services, financial services, and Internet divisions, Toys R Us said. Storch also led the turnaround at its Marshall Field's division, the company said.

Toys R Us on Jan. 9 said it will close 75 Toys "R" Us stores in the United States and convert 12 others into Babies "R" Us stores, eliminating about 3,000 jobs.