Target Corp. took two big steps to put the holiday data-breach nightmare behind it today.
The second-largest U.S. retailer said in a statement that Bob DeRodes, who has advised the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Secretary of Defense, will become chief information officer on May 5. The company also named MasterCard Inc. as the provider of the more secure house-brand credit and debit cards it plans to introduce early next year.
Chief Executive Officer Gregg Steinhafel has been working to regain customers' loyalty after hackers stole card data and personal information from tens of millions of shoppers during the holiday season. The Minneapolis-based retailer said earlier this year that it would spend $100 million to accelerate the rollout of cards with better security technology. Beth Jacob, who had served as Target's top technology officer during the breach, stepped down last month.
Target rose 1.5 percent to $62.18 yesterday in New York. The shares have slid 1.7 percent this year, compared with a 1.1 percent gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
As part of its plan to convert to cards that store information on embedded chips, rather than less-secure magnetic strips, Target will have its REDcards use MasterCard technology. Its co-branded cards will run on the Purchase, N.Y.-based company's network instead of Visa Inc.'s network. The new cards also will require customers to enter a personal identification number, known as a PIN.
Paul Cohen, a spokesman for Foster City, Calif.-based Visa, declined to comment.
The new technology has become a standard in Europe and much of the rest of the world. Starting October 2015, retailers and banks that don't use cards with the EMV chips named for its founders EuroPay International, MasterCard and Visa will assume liability for counterfeit transactions. The technology makes it more difficult for hackers to clone card data.
Target said today that it will introduce new payment devices in all of its almost 1,800 U.S. stores by September, six months earlier than originally planned.
DeRodes, the new technology chief, is on the board of NCR Corp. and has held technology positions at companies including Home Depot, Citibank and Delta Air Lines.
Target isn't the only retailer to have had its systems attacked in the past year. Luxury department-store chain Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. said in January that about 1.1 million credit cards may have been compromised in a data breach. Days later, arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels Stores Inc. said some customer payment-card data may have been used fraudulently.