The retail industry was rocked last year when Target experienced a major security breach that exposed as many as 70 million customer records during the holiday shopping season. The retail giant stayed in the news well into the new year, as the company's stock took a turn for the worse. Consumers learned that information including their names, card numbers, expiration dates, and CVV three-digit security codes could have been compromised, and the negative backlash and PR nightmare culminated in the resignation of CEO Gregg Steinhafel, who announced this morning he is stepping down from his position.
While Target's board of directors released a statement thanking Steinhafel for his contributions to the company during his 35-year career, it is also looking forward to a new era of leadership that can drive the retailer in the right direction and past the controversy of this past winter.
"The board is confident in the future of this company and views this transition as an opportunity to drive Target`s business forward and accelerate the company`s transformation efforts," Target's board of directors said in a statement early Monday.
CFO John Mulligan has been named interim CEO while the company embarks on an executive search. Whoever takes over the company will have a massive project on their hands as they attempt to restore Target's image in the eyes of both the customers and shareholders while mitigating the risk of similar security incidents happening again. Target will need the right person to undertake this responsibility, and must review that individual thoroughly during the hiring process.
A departing CEO, particularly following a serious incident at the company, can be a major challenge at your organization. Even if your company's situation is not as public as the one at Target, it's still important that you find the right person to steer the company in the correct direction. Working with an executive and senior management search firm can help you find the best people for the job.