Former Pepsi executive Brian Cornell is the new chairman and CEO of Target, which is an announcement following the company’s huge data breach.
Cornell is expected to take over CEO John Mulligan’s responsibilities. The previous CEO became the head of the company following Greg Steinhafel’s resignation due to data breach during Christmas shopping season, which victimized up to 110 million people.
The massive data breach occurred between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, where a malware is used to hack the point of sales system of Target’s retail stores, which resulted to illegal acquisition of customers’ debit and credit card information. According to reports, black market had an influx due to the obtained customers’ data. The breach is considered among the largest data breaks of any consumer company.
Following the rift, Target was criticized for handling the issue. A month passed before consumers were informed regarding the data theft. Consumers aren’t happy as expected, which in turn led to 5.3% decline in Target’s sales.
The breach made the company tighten up its security not only for its data system, but for the company in general. They even hired a new chief information officer, who is also the former tech adviser of Homeland Security.
At this instant, Target banks on Cornell for the company sales recovery. The new chief executive is a businessman who worked both in retailing and supplying companies. Cornell did not just work at long-standing PepsiCo Inc., but also at Safeway, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. From his experience, Cornell gained considerable knowledge in food and consumer basics. Nonetheless, Cornel is not counted for online sales and fashionable housewares trading, in which Target is focused on.
Many criticized Target’s choice of Cornell now that what it needs is someone who can bring back shoppers and get traffic they had before the breach took place. Nonetheless, Target clarified that choosing Cornell is driven by how the company values the businessman’s great reputation as a good leader.
Cornell is confident that his PepsiCo experience will enable him to restore the luster to fashion and home-furnishing lines of Target.