June 10, 2014 / 6:29 PM / 5 years ago

Target appoints GM exec to help oversee security efforts

(Reuters) - U.S. retailer Target Corp (TGT.N) named General Motors Co (GM.N) executive Brad Maiorino to the newly created position of chief information security officer, as part of its plan to tighten its security following a massive data breach last year.

The sign outside the Target store is seen in Arvada, Colorado January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Maiorino, who will join on June 16, will be responsible for the company’s information security and technology risk strategy, the third-largest U.S. retailer said on Tuesday.

The appointment was evidence of Target’s renewed focus on securing customer data to prevent a repeat of the data breach, Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joseph Feldman said.

“While the average customer may not recognize the managerial changes, they should expect to see enhanced transactional security in the future,” Feldman said.

The appointment comes a day before Target’s shareholder meeting, at which proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has recommended that shareholders vote against seven of the company’s 10 directors, saying the board failed to manage risks that led to the data breach.

Target was the victim of a cyber attack in December that resulted in the theft of at least 40 million payment card numbers and 70 million other pieces of customer data.

Since then, the company has announced plans to overhaul its information security practices and bolster its technology management team, including elevating the role of chief information security officer. [ID:nL1N0M218D]

That role is being filled by Maiorino, who held the title of chief information security and information technology risk officer at GM.

Maiorino, who previously worked with General Electric Co (GE.N), will report to Chief Information Officer Bob DeRodes, Target said. The data breach, among other reasons, cost the Minneapolis-based company’s Chief Information Officer Beth Jacob and Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel their jobs.

Shares of the company were flat at $56.86 in extended trade on Tuesday. They have fallen 18.6 percent in the last 12 months.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore and Ben Klayman in Detriot; Editing by Maju Samuel and Savio D'Souza

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