Target’s CEO Steps Down in Wake of Massive Data Breach

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Five months after being hit by a massive data breach that affected millions of people, Target announced on Monday that its Chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel has resigned.


A Target storefront is scene in this file photo. (Credit: CNN)

“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,” a statement from the company’s board of directors said. “Effective immediately, Gregg will step down from his positions as Chairman of the Target board of directors, president and CEO.”

Steinhafel, who had been with Target for 35-years, had led the company’s response to the data breach, according to the statement. The security breach was announced late last year.

The nation’s third-largest retailer first reported the hack in December, announcing that the credit and debit card numbers and encrypted PIN data of as many as 40 million customers were stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

It was later revealed that personal information — includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses – of up to 70 million customers had also been stolen.

A number of agencies investigated the breach, including the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Justice.

Multiple lawsuits had also been filed against the company, CNN reported in December.

Target’s Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan has been appointed to take over as interim president and chief executive officer of the retailer until a replacement can be found, according to the statement.

Steinhafel will serve in an “advisory capacity” during the transition, the statement added.