Target Picks New Tech Leader In Wake Of Data Breach
Target announced Tuesday that it has hired a new chief information officer (CIO), Bob DeRodes, replacing Beth Jacob—who resigned in March following the company’s massive data breach.
The Minneapolis-based retail giant said DeRodes will assume oversight of the company’s technology team and operations, leading the company’s “information technology transformation.” He will be responsible for the company’s data security enhancement efforts and the development of Target’s long-term IT strategy.
Before joining Target, DeRodes was the executive vice president of operations and technology for First Data and CIO at Home Depot and Delta Air Lines—all three companies are based in Atlanta. DeRodes was also a senior information technology advisor for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Establishing a clear path forward for Target following the data breach has been my top priority. I believe Target has a tremendous opportunity to take the lessons learned from this incident and enhance our overall approach to data security and information technology,” President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement. “Bob’s history of leading transformational change positions him well to lead our continued breach responses and guide our long-term digital strategy.”
DeRodes’ predecessor resigned in March as part of an overhaul of the company’s security management oversight team following the breach. Target said it’s still searching for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.
Regarding Target costumers’ concerns of data security, DeRodes said the following in a company blog post: “Any time a consumer uses a credit or debit card there are risks, everywhere in the world. I think of the payment industry as an arms race, where retailers and banks have to stay out ahead of the bad guys. Clearly, Target is investing in data security and information technology at unprecedented levels, which puts the company at the forefront of that race.”
Target also announced Tuesday that it’s launching a new initiative to speed up its transition to “chip-and-PIN-enabled technology” in its payment card systems, which it said would be much safer than magnetic-stripe cards.
Beginning in 2015, all of Target’s branded credit and debit cards will be enabled with “MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN solution” and its existing Visa cards will be reissued as “MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards.”
“Target has long been an advocate for the widespread adoption of chip-and-PIN card technology,” Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan said in a statement. “As we aggressively move forward to bring enhanced technology to Target, we believe it is critical that we provide our REDcard guests with the most secure payment product available. This new initiative satisfies that goal.”