On May 5, 2014, it was announced that the CEO of Target Corporation, Gregg Steinhafel, is resigning from the company. This news comes approximately 5 months after a major data breach resulted in the credit card information for millions of consumers being stolen. As a result of the data breach, consumer confidence in the retailer was greatly shaken.
Steinhafel was with Target for over 35 years, but the company has decided that a fresh start in management is needed after the holiday data theft resulted in great financial losses for the company. USAToday reports that John Mulligan, The Chief Financial Officer, will be serving as interim CEO during this transitional process. Steinhafel is also leaving his position of the chairman of the board of directors.
Target is beginning its search for a new CEO immediately. They are working with the company Korn Ferry, to aid in the search for their next top executive. It is speculated that they will be looking for an individual who has broader international business experience.
Target had a quiet launch in Canada in 2013, and they are looking to expand their efforts. They opened over 100 stores in Canada last year, and they are looking to increase that number through 2014. However, the initiative was viewed as unsuccessful. The Toronto Star reports that the failed Canada launch, in addition to the data security issues of 2013, were the main reasons for Steinhafel’s resignation.
It looks as though Target has a long and winding road ahead if it is hoping to return to profitability and regain the trust of consumers that have been lost during this period. Target has beefed up its data security measures with new point of sale machines and increased efforts to keep all consumer data safe. It remains to be seen if these changes will be enough to bring shoppers back to the Minneapolis-based retail giant.