WASHINGTON, May 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. retail giant Target said Monday that its Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer ( CEO) Gregg Steinhafel was stepping down, nearly five months after the company disclosed a massive data breach.
"After extensive discussions, the board and Gregg Steinhafel have decided that now is the right time for new leadership at Target," the company said in a statement.
Target's chief financial officer John Mulligan has been appointed as interim president and chief executive, and Roxanne Austin, a current member of Target's board of directors, has been appointed as interim non-executive chair of the board, the company said.
In addition, Steinhafel has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity during the transition, Target said.
The company's leadership change came days after Target announced that it hired a new chief information officer and outlined a series of measures to further strengthen the company's security network.
"Most recently, Gregg led the response to Target's 2013 data breach. He held himself personally accountable and pledged that Target would emerge a better company," the company said.
Target revealed in December that it suffered a massive data breach during the most important holiday shopping season from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15, which resulted in the theft of information of approximately 40 million customers' credit or debit cards.
The company said in January the stolen information also included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million customers.
Target reported in February that its profit plunged 46 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 as the massive data breach spooked customers.