Target CEO Steps Down

Gregg Steinhafel is stepping down from his positions as president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors at Target, effective immediately.

The decision has been widely attributed, at least in part, to the holiday-season data breach that caused major image issues for the retailer.

John Mulligan, Target’s chief financial officer, has been appointed as interim president and chief executive officer, and Roxanne S. Austin, a current member of Target’s board of directors, has been appointed as interim non-executive chair of the board until replacements are found. Steinhafel will serve in an advisory capacity during this transition.

The retailers’ board of directors announced the news in an online statement. An excerpt is below:

“After extensive discussions, the board and Gregg Steinhafel have decided that now is the right time for new leadership at Target. … 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 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.”

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