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Target searching for new tech chief after data breach

By Renee Dudley
Bloomberg News

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Target Corp., still reeling from a security breach that exposed the personal information of tens of millions of customers, is seeking a new top technology executive as part of an overhaul of its operations.

The company is searching externally for a candidate to replace Beth Jacob, who had held the chief information officer post since 2008. The new executive will help revamp Target’s information-security and compliance operations, Chief Executive Officer Gregg Steinhafel said Wednesday in an emailed statement. Promontory Financial Group will advise on the overhaul.

The second-largest discount retailer last month posted fourth-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates, signaling it’s regaining shoppers’ loyalty.

Target will elevate the position of chief information-security officer and hire externally for that job, Steinhafel said.

Target said in December that credit- and debit-card data of 40 million accounts was stolen during the holiday shopping season and said in January that names and addresses for as many as 70 million customers were taken, as well. Sales after the data theft were disclosed were “meaningfully weaker,” the company said in January.

Still, the retailer last month posted fourth-quarter profit of 81 cents a share, topping analysts’ 79-cent average estimate.

Target spent $61 million responding to the data breach last quarter, including costs to investigate the incident and offer identity-theft services to customers. Insurance covered $44 million, leaving the company with an expense of $17 million in the period.

The expenses don’t include potential claims by payment-card networks for counterfeit fraud losses.


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