Hacker gets 20 years for stealing credit-card data from retailers
Boston A computer hacker from Florida has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping engineer one of the largest thefts of credit- and debit-card numbers in U.S. history.
Albert Gonzalez of Miami was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boston. He pleaded guilty last year to breaking into the computer systems of major retailers, including TJX Cos. and BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Prosecutors had sought 25 years for Gonzalez (see related story), saying he victimized millions of people and cost companies, banks and insurers nearly $200 million. His lawyer had argued Gonzalez should get no more than 15 years.
Gonzalez pleaded guilty last year in three separate hacking cases brought in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. The Thursday hearing dealt with the Massachusetts case. A second sentencing Friday will deal with the others.
A.C. Moore names acting CEO
BERLIN, N.J. A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts announced the appointment of Joseph Jeffries as acting CEO effective March 31. Jeffries will also continue to serve as the COO of the company.
Jeffries succeeds Rick Lepley, who is retiring effective March 31. The company said it will conduct an internal and external search for a permanent CEO.
Jeffries has served as the company’s EVP and COO since August 2008. He joined the company in November 2007 as its EVP operations. Previously, he served as VP store operations, space planning and visual merchandising for Office Depot, a position he held from 2004 to November 2007.
Michael Joyce, chairman of the board, said, “Joe Jeffries has demonstrated strong knowledge and proven expertise in all aspects of A.C. Moore’s business and operations. We are all very excited to have Joe lead our management team during this next phase of the Company’s development.”
Retailer study reveals importance of talent development
NEW YORK More than 83% of retailers rank leadership development as critical to their organizations’ success, according to a study by Deloitte and the National Retail Federation. However, 21% of those surveyed said they do not monitor their future supply of critical talent and one-third 34% believe that their succession planning efforts are not effective.
Part of the problem of not being able to recognize talent in the ranks is a deficit in human resources technologies, the survey found. According to the study, 41% of retailers said they do not have the HR technology (e.g., candidate identification, learning, and training systems) to support talent management within their organizations. In addition, nearly as many (38%) do not have a process in place for documenting and retrieving the knowledge of skilled workers.
Retailers surveyed also indicate that attracting new talent and retaining top talent are two critically important areas. However, nearly 73% of respondents indicate that their organizations know what is required to motivate and retain top talent. The top three tools cited to attract and retain talented employees include financial rewards and incentives (76%), training and development opportunities (69%) and brand affiliation, with two-thirds (66%) of the surveyed executives citing brand attraction as a key tool.
“The study suggests that retailers understand the talent management imperative and are focused on improving their competitive position in the talent market,” said Dan Butler, VP retail operations for NRF. “Retailers that take a proactive approach to engage top performers, develop the next generation of leaders, and increase workforce diversity through effective recruiting, development and retention strategies may be well positioned to drive positive business performance through an economic recovery and beyond.”