Monday, January 5, 2015

Remember that data breach... Target a while back? Well, it cost the CEO his job. From an article in Bloomberg last year (all emphasis mine):

The data breach was the last straw for Target Corp. (TGT) Chief Executive Officer Gregg Steinhafel.

After last year’s hacker attack compromised the personal data of millions of shoppers and added to the retail chain’s woes, the board replaced Steinhafel as chairman and CEO today, saying the time was right for new leadership. John Mulligan, Target’s chief financial officer, will serve as interim CEO while the company seeks a permanent chief, according to a statement. Board member Roxanne Austin, a former DirecTV executive, will be interim chairwoman.

Steinhafel, a 35-year Target employee, was already under scrutiny for lagging rivals in e-commerce and overseeing a Canadian expansion that lost almost $1 billion last year. The pressure mounted over the holiday season, when hackers overcame Target’s defenses and stole shoppers’ personal information.

“Failure isn’t one big mistake -- failure is lots of small mistakes that added up to a big mistake,” said Les Berglass, founder and CEO of Berglass & Associates, a New York-based executive-search firm.

Wow. Bummer. Well, I guess them's the breaks.

But then I saw this in Bloomberg today:

Gregg Steinhafel, who stepped down as chief executive officer of Target Corp. (TGT) in May following a massive credit-card data breach, received retirement plans worth more than $47 million. When he joined Target in 1979, the Minneapolis-based company offered generous retirement programs -- so generous for executives that it included a deferred compensation plan that paid a guaranteed 12 percent interest. 

That’s quite a contrast with the average Target employees’ retirement plans. Steinhafel’s total package is 1,044 times the average balance of $45,000 that workers have saved in the company’s 401(k) plan. 

The piece goes on to say:

The gap in the U.S. workplace between the highest and lowest paid has been growing for years. Far less noticed has been the growing gulf in retirement pay.

It's also accompanied by the picture above which shows Steinhafel joining "a team rally prior to the Black Friday store opening in Bloomington, Minn. on Nov. 22, 2012."

Now, I hate to go all Karl Marx on you here, but I wonder: Would all those employees be smiling like that if they knew how exploited they were? (And I can't think of a better word to use than that.)

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