Monday, May 5, 2014

Breaking News: Target's CEO Resigns

You can read more details here on on USA Today, but in short: Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has stepped down 5 months after the retailer disclosed a huge pre-Christmas breach in which hackers stole millions of customers' credit- and debit-card records. The theft has badly damaged the store chain's reputation and profits. Steinhafel, a 35-year veteran of the company and chief executive since 2008, also resigned from the board of directors.

The Target board said in a statement that after extensive discussions with Steinhafel that they both "have decided it is the right time for new leadership at Target." The board also said that he "held himself personally accountable." The company's stock fell more than 3 percent today on the news - or $2.14 - to close at $59.87.

Target's Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan was named interim president and CEO while they conduct an external search for a new CEO, hopefully one with international experience to help fix Target's issues with its Canadian stores. Under Steinhafel's leadership, Target was also criticized for reacting too slowly to the shift toward shopping on mobile devices. Target just recently started to let shoppers order items online and pick them up at the store, years later than some competitors.

On the flipside, Steinhafel's tenure Target won praise for its expansion into fresh groceries and its 5% discount for customers who use its branded debit and credit cards. He also was at the helm for the most successful designer-collabs in Target's history, including Missoni, Liberty of London, and Jason Wu.

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