Target announced on Monday that Gregg Steinhafel is stepping down from the board, and from his positions as chairman, president, and CEO of the company.
This follows a massive data breach, which occurred during the holiday season, which saw the compromise of 40 million credit and debit cards, and the theft of information from a reported 70 million people.
Stenhafel said in a letter:
It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this great brand and work alongside what I believe is the best team in retail. Over my nearly 35-year career at Target, we have earned the trust and loyalty of millions of guests by delivering a truly exceptional, unique, value-driven shopping experience."
Looking back on my time as CEO, I'm particularly proud of the gains we've made by introducing fresh food in our stores, unveiling new store formats, enhancing our REDcard credit and debit program, expanding internationally and forging ahead into the digital space. Target has also faced its share of difficulties, from the worst recession in our lifetime, to a high profile proxy contest, and most recently, a slow start in Canada and the 2013 data breach. Despite these challenges, our team has been committed to doing right by our guests and driving our business forward."
The last several months have tested Target in unprecedented ways. From the beginning, I have been committed to ensuring Target emerges from the data breach a better company ,more focused than ever on delivering for our guests. We have already begun taking a number of steps to further enhance data security, putting the right people, processes and systems in place. With several key milestones behind us, now is the right time for new leadership at Target.
I love this company and remain incredibly confident in the more than 360,000 team members who deliver on the high standard of our brand promise every day. Their deep devotion to our guests will propel Target's success now and in the future.
The board said in a statement:
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.
John Mulligan, the company's CFO, has been appointed as interim president and CEO. Board member Roxanne S. Austinis interim non-executive chair of the board. Both will serve until permanent replacements are named. Stenhafel will continue to work with the company during the transition process.
Target CIO Beth Jacob resigned in March.
Image via Target