It didn't take long for Target to find a new chief information officer. About six weeks after former CIO Beth Jacob resigned, the retailer announced that it has hired Bob DeRodes to head up its technology initiatives and to lead efforts to keep data secure. Target still plans to hire a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer to further improve data security.
Mr. DeRodes comes to Target with more than 40 years experience in IT, data security and business operations. He has been a senior information technology advisor for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Justice. During his career, Mr. DeRodes has also held top technology positions at companies including CitiBank, USAA Federal Savings Bank, First Data, Home Depot and Delta Air Lines.
The news of Target's planned switch to chip-and-PIN cards may have been greeted with more cheers than the hiring of its new CIO. The retail announced it would switch its current portfolio of credit and debit REDcards to chip-and-PIN technology in early 2015. The reason for the switch is simple — greater security.
To make the switch, Target is in the process of replacing its registers with ones that can conduct transactions using the new technology. The chain expects to have new terminals in all its U.S. stores by the end of September, six months ahead of its initial schedule.
"As we aggressively move forward to bring enhanced technology to Target, we believe it is critical that we provide our REDcard guests with the most secure payment product available," said John Mulligan, Target's CFO, in a statement. "This new initiative satisfies that goal."
The Retail industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued a press release to applaud Target for the switch to chip-and-PIN.
"Migrating to chip-and-PIN technology is a major component of RILA's Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative," said Sandy Kennedy, RILA president, in a statement. "The security features associated with chip-and-PIN technology will reduce the risk of fraud in the United States as they have done around the world where this enhanced fraud prevention technology has been in place for years."
How successful will the move to chip-and-PIN card security be in making Target's customers feel more confident charging their purchases?