Target chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel has left the retailer effective immediately after 35 years with the company. He has been CEO since 2008.
In the interim, CFO John Mulligan will serve as CEO and board member Roxanne Austin will serve as non-executive chairman of the board.
A massive data breach that made the credit card and personal data of some 110 million Target customers vulnerable to theft is continuing to hurt the retailer on several fronts, including its sales, its credit rating, and its share price.
Gregg Steinhafel has shouldered much of the blame of the massive data-breach debacle that continues to dog the retailer. Part of that is because, as chairman and CEO, the buck stops with him.
Perhaps not helping is the painful fact that Steinhafel led the charge a decade ago against Target’s plan to increase credit-card security. Steinhafel then helped quash that proposed system out of fear that checkout times would be too slow and that it didn’t offer enough benefits to the company. Some lessons are learned the hard way.