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Target moves to heal reputation

New tech chief, better card security

– Target has taken more steps in its efforts to regain trust with its shoppers in the wake of a massive pre-Christmas data breach.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said Tuesday that it named outsider Bob DeRodes, who has 40 years of experience in information technology, as its new chief information officer. He replaces Beth Jacob, who left abruptly in early March.

DeRodes has been a senior information technology adviser for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the secretary of defense and the Department of Justice. He will assume oversight of the company’s technology team and operations Monday.

The nation’s third-largest retailer also announced that MasterCard Inc. will provide its branded credit and debit cards with the more secure chip-and-PIN technology that it says will be coming out next year. That will make Target the first major U.S. retailer with this technology in its own branded cards, experts say.

“Establishing a clear path forward for Target following the data breach has been my top priority,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and CEO.

“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.”

Target said it is continuing its search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.

Target is still dealing with fallout from a massive breach that has hurt profits and sales and its reputation among shoppers worried about the security of their personal data. The company disclosed Dec. 19 that a data breach compromised 40 million credit and debit card accounts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

Then on Jan. 10, it said hackers stole personal information – including names, phone numbers and email and mailing addresses – from as many as 70 million customers.

In the wake of the breach, Target has been making changes, including overhauling some of its divisions that handle security and technology.

The company has also been accelerating its $100 million plan to roll out chip-based credit card technology in all of its nearly 1,800 stores.

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