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State finance analysts: Target CEO Steinhafel's ousting was more than data breach

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin financial analysts said the Target data breach was not the only thing that resulted in CEO Gregg Steinhafel's departure.  

Tom Bakas of the UW-Madison Applied Security Analysis Program said Steinhafel failed in his leadership role, and fewer people were shopping at Target even before last December's hacking incident.  

Marquette marketing professor Syed Akhter said Steinhafel had been with Target for a long time -- and the nation's third-largest retailer needed somebody with a new orientation and vision. Other analysts cited problems with Target's expansion into Canada -- and the pervasive role that computers play in American business.  

Steinhafel had been with Target for 35 years. He became the CEO in May of 2008, and was the board chair since February of '09. He's a native of the Milwaukee area, and is from the family that owns the Steinhafels' furniture chain.

Almost 40 million Target customers -- including Wisconsin child support recipients -- were exposed to possible fraud when hackers invaded Target's purchasing terminals during last year's holiday shopping season.  

In his departure letter, Steinhafel noted a number of accomplishments -- including new store formats and the introduction of fresh food at Target, and expanding its red card program.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)