Target has spent more than two months offering information about and explaining how it has been dealing with the massive data breach over the holidays
that affected at least 70 million customers. It has a whole section of its website
devoted to answering questions and offering help.
The hammer dropped with a thud on Wednesday, when the company announced that Chief Information Officer Beth Jacob had resigned. In a statement to PR Daily
, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel explained how the company would move forward. Here’s his statement, in full:
While we are still in the process of an ongoing investigation, we recognize that the information security environment is evolving rapidly. To ensure that Target is well positioned following the data breach we suffered last year, we are undertaking an overhaul of our information security and compliance structure and practices at Target. As a first step in this effort, Target will be conducting an external search for an interim CIO who can help guide Target through this transformation.
We will also be elevating the role of the Chief Information Security Officer and hiring externally for this position. Additionally, we will be initiating an external search for a Chief Compliance Officer. We are also working with an external advisor, Promontory Financial Group, to help us evaluate our technology, structure, processes and talent as a part of this transformation.
Target also provided Jacob’s resignation letter, which doesn’t mention the breach but does say that “this is a good time for a change.”
“This is a time of significant transformation for the retail industry and for Target,” she wrote. “With the quality of its talent and the power of its brand, I am confident Target will embrace the current opportunities and continue to be strong and successful in the future.”
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Clearly, Target wants its customers to know that it’s changing the way it handles information security, and it has taken out full-page newspaper ads to say so. However, the news of Jacob’s departure hasn’t been mentioned at all on Twitter
, nor is it on Target’s press website
The company has suffered clear damage from the breach. The Associated Press reports
that Target’s fourth-quarter profit was down a whopping 46 percent on a revenue decline of 5.3 percent, compared with the same quarter in 2013.