Target CIO resigns after huge data breach

By Sooraj Shah
05 Mar 2014 View Comments
Former Target CIO Beth Jacobs

The CIO of US retailer Target, Beth Jacob, has resigned as the company seeks to restructure its security and compliance division following a data breach that could have affected up to 110 million US citizens.

Jacob had been CIO at Target since 2008, having joined Target's department store division as assistant buyer in 1984. She left the department store division in 1986 and returned to the organisation as Target's vice president of guest operations in 2006. Jacob graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor's degree in retail merchandising in 1984, and an MBA in 1989.

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Her resignation, reported by the Associated Press, comes after a disastrous data breach resulted in hackers stealing 40 million credit and debit customer records and 70 million other customer records from Target. Reports suggest that the retailer's point-of-sale (POS) system was compromised as part of the attack.

In January, the firm revealed that it was planning "significant changes" following the breach, but despite the firm's action plan, Jacob said resigning was a "difficult decision". She said that "this was a time of significant transformation for the retail industry and for Target", but made no mention of the data breach suffered by the retailer. 

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement that as part of the changes Target will overhaul its information security practices. The company is on the hunt for an interim CIO, and also wants to recruit a CISO and chief compliance officer - roles that did not previously exist at the firm. The company believes that the CISO will help to oversee responsibilities that were previously shared among several information security executives.

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