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Target CFO to Take Center Stage on Capitol Hill

Updated: 02/03/2014 6:22 PM
Created: 02/03/2014 5:44 PM KSTP.com
By: Steve Patterson

A month and a half after customers learned of the Target data breach, lawmakers are preparing to take the retailer to task.

Target Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan will find himself on the receiving end of criticism and questioning this week on Capitol Hill. Chief Executive Officer Gregg Steinhaffel won't be present. 

The folks at Target told KSTP the decision was made because Mulligan oversees Target’s financial portfolio, including their finance and retail services. But judging by the tone set Monday, he might wish he had some company.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester offered a thinly veiled shot at Target, saying "If a business withholds that information because it's in the heart of Christmas season and it might affect their bottom line, they need to be hung out to dry."

Dr. David Vang, from the University of St. Thomas Finance Department, thinks Target has done a good job of trying to be open about the breach, but even he admits this week will be tough-sledding, saying, "This is one of those situations where there's all downside and not much upside."

Despite the bleak outlook, Vang believes a good showing by the retailer could help to avert any additional job loss for its employees.  

When asked if this week's hearings would amount in big changes Vang answered, "I think we're going to see change even without any legislation. Target and other retailers have a vested interest in making sure their customer's information stays secure, because they need the credit card business. It's fairly lucrative for them."


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