Beth Jacob Resigns: Target's CIO Steps Down in Wake of Data Breach

Image: Beth Jacob Resigns: Target's CIO Steps Down in Wake of Data Breach

Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 09:58 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Beth Jacob, Target's chief information officer, resigned Wednesday. She is the company's highest ranking executive to leave the retailer since its massive credit card data breach by hackers over the holiday season.

Jacob's role at the company ranged from overseeing internal computer systems to Target's website, according to The New York Times. She had served as the company's CIO since 2008. 

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Target's chief executive Gregg Steinhafel said that an interim information officer will be named while the company "overhauls" how it protects customer information. 

"While we are still in the process of an ongoing investigation, we recognize that the information security environment is evolving rapidly," Steinhafel told The Times.

Jacob did not mention last year's data breach in her resignation letter.

"This is a difficult decision after 12 rewarding years with the company I love," Jacob said in the letter. "But this is a good time for a change."

The Associated Press reported that Target's shares slipped 73 cents to $60.60 on Wednesday when Jacob announced her departure. Overall, Target's stock is down a little more than 3 percent since the breach occurred.

Target confirmed that a data breach affected 40 million shoppers'  credit and debit card accounts from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15. The company disclosed on Jan. 10 that hackers also made off with personal information from some 70 million Target customers, which included phone numbers, email, and mailing addresses.

The disclosures made Target customers wary and caused revenues to tumble 46 percent in the fourth quarter.

In response, the retailer pushed forward its plan for chip-based credit card technology to make cards more secure. Target has also shuffled the roles of its executives, such as divvying the assurance risk and compliance responsibilities.

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Since Target's scandal, companies like Neiman Marcus and Michael's arts and craft stores have faced data breaches. Sally Beauty Supply also announced that it is investigating an alleged breach.

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