Steinhafel’s purge: a sign of a healthy Target?

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun

A trio of Wall Street Journal reporters say, “Mr. Steinhafel, after spending 35 years at the discount retailer, will collect an exit package estimated to be worth $37.8 million, based on Target’s Monday closing share price, including cash severance and accelerated vesting of stock, calculates Mark Reilly, a compensation consultant at Verisight Inc., who has never advised Target.” Compensation-wise, there are no failures in the corner office.

The Strib’s Lee Schafer casts Steinhafel’s ouster as a sign of Target’s health, in this the best of all possible worlds. The Canada-expansion fiasco cost a billion but Target still made 3 bil last year, Schafer notes. He works his way through I.T., customer-count, and other screw-ups as signs of The Bulls-eye’s vim and vigor. “Healthy” companies can make a bunch of money until they don’t, right K-Mart? Speaking of healthy operations, another senior at Best Buy is gone.

And yes, the Strib editorial page salutes Target’s board, too. Did we miss their prescient take calling for Steinhafel’s ouster? Don’t miss our own Abe Sauer’s Target appraisal

Pot is on the move … . The AP reports, “A bill to legalize medical marijuana is headed to the Senate floor after passage by the Finance Committee. The committee passed the bill 14-7 on Monday after adding a few wrinkles to the legislation. It would track medical practitioners who issue opinions that cannabis likely would alleviate a patient’s symptoms. It also would track the conditions being treated.”

And it’s getting tougher to vape … . Says Tom Scheck for MPR, “A bill that would ban e-cigarettes in indoor public places was approved by a key Senate committee today. The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill 11-8. The proposal would include electronic cigarettes under the same rules as smoking.”

Also from Scheck … “The Senate Tax Committee today removed a provision in a liquor bill to allow craft taprooms to sell growlers of beer on Sunday. The measure would have opened the door to allowing a form of Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota. The move came after officials representing the Teamsters Union, which delivers alcohol on behalf of beer and liquor wholesalers, said Sunday growler sales would force them to reopen their contracts with distributors.”

Settled … mostly. Steve Karnowski of the AP says, “Attorneys for a former Boy Scout who alleges that he was sexually abused by a Minnesota scoutmaster said Monday that their client has reached a legal settlement in principal with the Boy Scouts of America. … Attorney Jeff Anderson said he wasn’t ready to disclose the terms until the details are nailed down. But he said they settled only with the national Boy Scouts of America.”

Who needs a stadium? Let’s get those hands up … . Eric Roper of the Strib tells us, “[T]he Armory in downtown Minneapolis may soon get yet another life. … a $22 million plan is inching forward that would convert it into a multiuse space for concerts, galas and athletics.” Finance & Commerce’s Adam Voge reports yet another music-and-event space might actually be needed; a 6,000-concertgoer space with a dance floor would compete with Roy Wilkens Auditorium, which ain’t exactly Orchestra Hall.

The sign-off on the latest gun grab could be real soon … . The Forum News Service story says, “A bill to take guns away from Minnesota domestic abuse suspects awaits Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature. The Senate passed the measure 60-4 Monday, the final step before the governor signs it into law. Protect Minnesota Board President Joan Peterson applauded the vote. Peterson’s sister was killed with a gun by her estranged husband.” MinnPost’s Doug Grow saw the issue coming here.

This is why I never throw anything away … . Dan Kraker of MPR files a story saying, “The rising price of iron ore and other metals in the last decade has led mining companies to an important discovery: There’s money to be made in what was once considered waste. … A newfound interest in the leftover rock is leading to a resurgence of mining on the western edge of the Iron Range, between Grand Rapids and Hibbing.”

Another eulogy for Jim Oberstar. This one from veteran newsman Al Eisele on the Huffington Post. “I interviewed him on his last day in Congress in January 2011, and while he admitted he was disappointed that the voters whose interests he had served so well had turned against him and said he would miss being in public life, showed no bitterness. … Jim Oberstar was the quintessential congressman and I doubt we’ll see his likes again.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 05/06/2014 - 07:21 am.


    Only in the rarefied atmosphere of the 1% would a severance package of $37.8 million be labeled as being “held accountable,” as the ‘Strib’s Mr. Schafer did this morning. He’s been breathing those fumes for too long.

  2. Submitted by Mike Worcester on 05/06/2014 - 10:28 am.


    The only word I can come up with for the whole Growler debacle is “amazing”. When will Minnesota at least try to join the late 20th century, let alone the 21st, when it comes to the sale of liquor. Nicely done state senate leadership, you have shown–once again–where your allegiances reside. And it’s obviously not with the people who voted you into office.

  3. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 05/06/2014 - 11:03 am.

    I’m amazed the Target board tolerated continual screw ups

    Let’s see what Steinhafel did:

    Donated corporate money to a right-wing nutjob causing a near boycott at stores all over the country.

    Pissed off San Francisco area shoppers with another anti-gay blunder.

    Made the worst possible roll into Canada that any investor or observer could have possibly guessed at. It was so poorly executed that it may be a whole generation of Canadian shoppers before believe Target can do anything right.

    And then the IT screw-up, but even more importantly, however, was how poorly it was handled after the fact. They treated loyal Target shoppers like a disease, offered virtually nothing in the form of a real apology, left customers guessing as to whether or not they were exposed – not even offering credit monitoring unless you spent hours on the phone complaining. They didn’t do what they said they would do.

    I’ve never been more happy to see a corporate bigshot leave. Of course he leaves with more money than 99.999 percent of competent people in this country will ever dream about.

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