The #1 Thing the C-Suite Can Learn from Target’s CEO’s Resignation

Your Company is The Target

Business leaders must appreciate digital business risk and be proactive in trying to mitigate it. If they do not, they do so at their own peril.

Data security is such a threat to businesses that it must be a key tenet of leadership for the C-Suite and the Boardroom.

Over the last several years I have written and spoken extensively about the risks that businesses face from the threat of data breaches. (posts) One of the points I try to make is that this is not just a “tech” issue, but is a business issue that impacts the business as a whole. In other words, it is an issue that demands the attention of executive management as well as the board of directors.

We now have a very visible case study.

Following CEO Gregg Steinhafel’s resignation, Target released a statement saying “after extensive discussions, the board and Steinhafel have decided that now is the right time for new leadership.” While the data breach is certainly not the only factor being considered, it is a major one. From this, one can easily discern the underlying message which is that under Steinhafel’s leadership, data security was not a key focus, but under new leadership, it will be.

Commenting on the resignation, Ken Nisch, chairman of retail branding and design company JGA said of Target’s hunt for a new CEO: “They need to find somebody who really gets e-commerce.”

Data security isn’t exactly the same as e-commerce, but it is a step in the right direction. Target — and every other business — need leadership that appreciates digital business risk and is proactive in trying to mitigate that risk. My message for those leaders that refuse to do so: “Do so at your own peril.”

Full article: Target CEO out as data breach fallout goes on

 


About the author

Shawn Tuma is a lawyer who is experienced in advising clients on digital business risk which includes complex digital information law and intellectual property issues. This includes things such as trade secrets litigation and misappropriation of trade secrets (under common law and the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act), unfair competition, and cyber crimes such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; helping companies with data security issues from assessing their data security strengths and vulnerabilities, helping them implement policies and procedures for better securing their data, preparing data breach incident response plans, leading them through responses to a data breach, and litigating disputes that have arisen from data breaches. Shawn is a partner at BrittonTuma, a boutique business law firm with offices near the boarder of Frisco and Plano, Texas which is located minutes from the District Courts of Collin County, Texas and the Plano Court of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. He represents clients in lawsuits across the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex including state and federal courts in Collin County, Denton County, Dallas County, and Tarrant County, which are all courts in which he regularly handles cases (as well as throughout the nation pro hac vice). Tuma regularly serves as a consultant to other lawyers on issues within his area of expertise and also serves as local counsel for attorneys with cases in the District Courts of Collin County, Texas, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, and the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas.

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