Target CIO Resigns as Security Gets Overhaul

Target's CIO Beth Jacobs

Target’s CIO Beth Jacobs

Minneapolis—In the wake of the December hacking incident where as many as 70 million or more customers had their personal information stolen, Target said today it plans to overhaul its information security and compliance division. And, the retailer’s Chief Information Officer Beth Jacob resigned from her role.

Jacob is the first top level executive to depart Target following the data breach Target revealed on Dec. 19 in which some 40 million credit/debit cards were hacked between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

Seeks Outside Advice

In her resignation letter, Jacob, who has been at her post since 2008, said leaving was a “difficult decision” but she said that “this was a time of significant transformation for the retail industry and for Target.” She did not mention the data breach.

“Target has been obviously impacted. People are questioning Target’s security. And she was the fall guy,” said Walter Loeb, an independent retail consultant.

According to Target Chairman/CEO Gregg Steinhafel, the company will be looking for an interim chief information officer to help guild a transformation. Security consultant

Promontory Financial Group will be helping to evaluate technology, structure, processes and talent of the information transformation.

The move was seen by analysts as a way for the major retailer to reassure customers about the safety of its systems going forward.

Target said it would be looking the company for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer. Before the overhaul, information security functions were split among a variety of executives. Target’s new chief information security officer will centralize those responsibilities, the company said.

“In the weeks ahead, we hope to understand more about how this attack happened,” Steinhafel posted on the company blog. “And will use what we learn to inform our guests, make Target a safer place to shop and to drive change across the broader retail industry.”



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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology.