Target CEO, president and chairman Gregg Steinhafel has resigned, effective immediately, the retailer announced on Monday, just five months after Target suffered one of the worst security breaches in U.S. history.
The breach resulted in the theft of payment or personal data from between 40 million and 110 million customers. “The last several months have tested Target in unprecedented ways,” Steinhafel wrote in a letter to the company’s board of directors. “From the beginning, I have been committed to ensuring Target emerges from the data breach a better company … With several key milestones behind us, now is the right time for new leadership at Target.”
Steinhafel’s resignation comes two months after the company’s chief information officer Beth Jacob also resigned in the wake of the breach. Target CFO John Mulligan will serve as interim president and CEO until the board appoints a new CEO.
The retailer first divulged on Dec. 18 that it had been the target of a several-weeks long hack that saw thieves making off with the credit card data of up to 40 million of its customers. But the situation worsened a few weeks later when the company acknowledged that an additional 70 million shopper accounts had personal contact information pilfered.
In response to the breach, Target has said that it has accelerated the rollout in stores of checkout equipment that can accept chip-and-pin payment cards, which are believed to be more secure than traditional magnetic-stripe cards. The company also said that its branded Redcards will move over to chip-and-pin technology later this year.