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TARGET Stores CEO Resigns Due to Huge Holiday Data Breach

Target CEO resigns over December data breach
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Target CEO resigns over December data breach

It was the largest retail hack in U.S. history.

You may have received a new TARGET card in the last few weeks or months,  it’s the result of the biggest breach of consumer data in retail history in America.

The breach, which affected nearly 100 million customers, has resulted in CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigning today.   But don’t feel too bad.  According to,   he will receive some $11 million in what are being called “severance payments.”

It might not have been so bad for the CEO, except for numerous stories in March, including ones in Bloomberg’s Businessweek magazine and online that claimed the retail giant was alerted about the presence of hackers trying to get into their system, but didn’t take action until after the breach occurred in mid-December.

At least 80 lawsuits have been filed against the company over how it was handled.  Federal and state investigations have been launched as well into how TARGET handled the cyber-attack.

One of the ways TARGET dealt with the intrusion was to offer credit monitoring and fraud protection plans to many of it’s members.   But some critics said that was too little, too late to prevent potentially tens of millions of customers from already having had their identities compromised.   Steinhafel will apparently stay on in an advisory capacity, and will remain on the job during the transition to another CEO.

The data breach and resulting fallout have significantly hurt TARGET’s sales and profit margins.

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