Who'd be Target's infosec chief? Tesco CIO joins hack-battered firm

Previous chap retires after annus horribilis

UK retail giant Tesco has lost its veteran CIO to Target, whose IT chief is stepping down after just a year.

Tesco’s Mike McNamara is taking charge of Target’s IT operations at 1,790 retail stores, 37 distribution centers, global development and online.

He replaces Bob DeRodes, hired in spring 2014 after US retailer Target lost the personal details of 70 million customers in a 2013 data breach on its point of sale (PoS) terminals. DeRodes, a former director of transaction systems specialist NCR, is retiring.

Announcing the new CIO, Target stressed responsibility for information security would fall at McNamara’s feet. It said DeRodes played a “pivotal role” in guiding its information security efforts, having joined at a “very challenging but important moment,” according to the company.

Target saw the credit card details exposed after malware – BlackPOS – was installed on the retailer’s Windows-based POS terminals.

The malware was able to steal credit card details once the card was swiped. A US judge ruled late last year that US banks could sue Target for negligence.

In addition to security, McNamara will run Target’s technology team and operations, and shape enterprise strategy as a member of the executive team.

Target pointed to McNamara’s record in modernising and advancing Tesco’s IT and supply chain world wide and introducing scan-as-you shop for customers. A company veteran of 15 years, McNamara was named Tesco CIO in 2011.

In a statement, Target called McNamara’s “a driving force for technology innovation throughout his career.”

Tesco is re-structuring following the latest in a series of disappointing trading figures in the face of cut-price competition from rival supermarkets in the UK.

The giant is looking to sell its data-analytics business Dunnhumby that it took a majority stake in in 2001 for £30m and offloaded its broadband business to TalkTalk. ®

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