March 7, 2014, 2:44 PM

Target’s top technology executive resigns after data breach

Beth Jacob resigned this week, two months after thieves broke into Target’s store systems and stole payment card data and personal information from up to 110 million customers. Target says it’s searching for executives to fill positions in technology security and compliance.

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Two months after thieves broke into Target Corp.’s store systems and stole information about up to 110 customers, it’s re-focusing on its team of technology and security executives. With the resignation this week of Beth Jacob, chief information officer and executive vice president for technology services, Target is searching for executives to fill the roles of chief information security officer and chief compliance officer as well as a successor to Jacobs is chief information officer.

Target, No. 18 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, said this week that it is still investigating the data breach. Target initially disclosed in December that criminals gained access to its network and, via store payment terminals stole credit and debit card data of 40 million consumers who shopped in Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 18, 2013. The retailer subsequently disclosed that the hackers also gained access to personal information apart from card data about some 70 million customers; Target has said there is likely overlap between the two groups, but not said how much.

“While we are still in the process of an ongoing investigation, we recognize that the information security environment is evolving rapidly,” chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement this week. “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 chief information security officer and hiring externally for this position.” 

Steinhafel added that Target is working with consulting firm Promontory Financial Group to “help us evaluate our technology, structure, processes and talent as part of this transformation.”

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