Today, the Minneapolis-based retail chain announced that 35-year company veteran Gregg Steinhafel had stepped down effective immediately. The CEO is the latest casualty of the widespread data breach that saw hackers steal personal data and credit card information from millions of customers. Target’s CFO John Mulligan will lead the discount giant until a replacement is named.
Target’s statement referred to Steinhafel’s handling of the breach that unfolded in December, when it became apparent that as many as 40 million shoppers’ credit card details and 70 million customers’ personal data, like addresses and numbers, had been compromised:
“He held himself personally accountable and pledged that Target would emerge a better company,” said the statement. “We are grateful to him for his tireless leadership and will always consider him a member of the Target family.”
Steinhafel will remain on board in an advisory capacity.
Here’s the full statement:
“Today we are announcing that, after extensive discussions, the board and Gregg Steinhafel have decided that now is the right time for new leadership at Target. Effective immediately, Gregg will step down from his positions as Chairman of the Target board of directors, president and CEO. John Mulligan, Target’s chief financial officer, has been appointed as interim president and chief executive officer. Roxanne S. Austin, a current member of Target’s board of directors, has been appointed as interim non-executive chair of the board. Both will serve in their roles until permanent replacements are named. We have asked Gregg Steinhafel to serve in an advisory capacity during this transition and he has graciously agreed. The board is deeply grateful to Gregg for his significant contributions and outstanding service throughout his notable 35-year career with the company. We believe his passion for the team and relentless focus on the guest have established Target as a leader in the retail industry. Gregg has created a culture that fosters innovation and supports the development of new ideas. Under his leadership, the company has not only enhanced its ability to execute, but has broadened its strategic horizons. He also led the company through unprecedented challenges, navigating the financial recession, reacting to challenges with Target’s expansion into Canada, and successfully defending the company through a high-profile proxy battle. Most recently, Gregg led the response to Target’s 2013 data breach. He held himself personally accountable and pledged that Target would emerge a better company. We are grateful to him for his tireless leadership and will always consider him a member of the Target family. The board will continue to be actively engaged with the leadership team to drive Target’s future success and will manage the transition. In addition to the appointments of the exceptional leaders noted above, we have also retained Korn Ferry to advise the board on a comprehensive CEO search. The board is confident in the future of this company and views this transition as an opportunity to drive Target’s business forward and accelerate the company’s transformation efforts.”