OPERATIONS

Report: Target exec apologizes for breach in Senate testimony

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – John Mulligan, executive VP and CFO of Target, said the retailer is deeply sorry for its late 2013 data security breach and is aware that consumer confidence in the company is shaken; his comments came during Feb. 4 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

According to Reuters, Mulligan also said that Target discovered 25 registers infected with malware on Dec. 18, contradicting an earlier statement from the retailer that all malware had been removed by Dec. 15.

Mulligan also said Target is thoroughly reviewing the security of its payment network and issuing new cards to customers who request them. He said the Department of Justice initially informed Target of suspicious card activity on Dec. 12, and the company then investigated, removed malware and publicly announced the breach Dec. 19.

Senators on the committee said U.S. retailers need to adopt both chip-based payment cards and four-digit customers PINs to go with them. Mulligan said Target wants to switch to chip-and-PIN card payment but so far banks have not supported the move. Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has proposed legislation to create a national standard for companies to report data breaches to the public, which has been endorsed by Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

In addition, Michael Kingston, senior VP and CIO at Neiman Marcus Group, testified that a processing firm informed Neiman Marcus of a data breach on Dec. 13, and the retailers informed the public on Jan. 10. Neiman Marcus concluded that the breach occurred between July 16 and Oct. 30.

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RILA: Raise threshold of full-time status under ACA

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is encouraged by passage of the Save American Workers Act of 2013 (H.R. 2575) out of the Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday. According to RILA, the act is an important first step in changing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of full-time employees from 30 hours of service to a definition more in-line with employment practices.

“Raising the threshold of full-time under the ACA means that retailers will have the flexibility to continue to offer coverage at the current level, whether, for example, the level is 32, 35 or 37 hours. Retailers have voluntarily offered coverage for nearly seven decades at levels, they want to be able to continue to offer this coverage to their employees and their families,” said Christine Pollack VP of government affairs at RILA.

“Most retailers currently use an hourly or salaried workforce designation, not full-time or part-time, which reflects an employees’ desire for flexible hours and a manager’s need to staff up a store during busy times. The ACA’s definition of full-time as 30 hours of service per week fundamentally limits the flexibility of staffing from both the employee and store manager standpoint,” RILA stated in a letter submitted ahead of the mark-up.

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Sears Holdings names senior VP and head of automotive

BY Staff Writer

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings announced that Norman Miller will join the company as senior VP and president, Automotive. Miller, who most recently served as president and COO of Dollar Financial Corp., will be responsible for the oversight and leadership of the company’s automotive business, including Sears Auto Centers.

"Norman is a proven executive whose operations, management and sales experience make him an ideal fit to lead the transformation of Sears Auto Centers," said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings chairman and CEO. "His deep expertise in driving the development and execution of growth and sales strategy for large, complex organizations makes him a strong addition to our team."

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