Target CIO Resigns In Aftermath Of Holiday Data Breach

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Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) CIO Beth Jacob resigned today, according to a report from the Associated Press. Jacob had been the firm’s technology leader since 2008. Her resignation comes a couple of months after a massive data breach by hackers who stole personal and financial data relating to more than 40 million Target customers.

Statement from Target CEO

The retailing giant released a statement earlier today regarding Jacob’s resignation and the company’s plans. The statement said the company is undertaking an external search for a candidate to replace Jacob.

“While we are still in the process of an ongoing investigation, we recognize that the information security environment is evolving rapidly,” said Chief Executive Officer Gregg Steinhafel. The new chief information officer will be a key player in the redesigning of Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT)’s information-security and compliance operations, Steinhafel elaborated.

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is also searching outside the company for a new chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer. The statement also mentioned that Promontory Financial Group is advising Target on the IT overhaul.

Target recovering from data breach disaster

The company initially announced that the data breach (which occurred between 11/27 and 12/15) exposed 40 million credit and debit card accounts. On Jan. 10, Target said hackers also stole personal information such as names, phone numbers and email and mailing addresses from around 70 million accounts.

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) sales have been gradually improving since it disclosed the data breach in mid-December, and in fact fourth quarter sales came in above analyst estimates. However, the company expects sales to be down for several quarters. In its 4Q report, the firm issued a profit outlook for the current quarter and full year somewhat below below analysts consensus estimates.

The company is also committed to equipping its stores with improved security technology.  Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is ramping up its $100 million plan to roll out more secure chip-based credit card technology.

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is trading down on today’s news, off 80 cents at $60.53 as of noon ET today.

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