Target CEO Steinhafel’s departure: reaction roundup

MinnPost file photo by Rita Kovtun

No end of reporting/analysis of Gregg Steinhafel’s resignation at Target:

The Busines Journal’s Jim Hammerand notes Steinhafel will earn at least a $9.3 million payout as part of his contract. The Strib’s Patrick Kennedy puts it at up to $26 million, a figure Hammerand notes comes if Steinhafel is let go without cause.

Elizabeth Harris in The New York Times says, “ … in notes to investors on Monday morning, retail analysts said Mr. Steinhafel’s resignation did not bode well for the company’s performance. ‘Presumably the board was not pleased with Steinhafel’s performance, and we think that it is fair to assume that current business trends are not particularly good,’ Faye Landes, an analyst at Cowen, wrote in a note to investors. ‘The board also may have come to the conclusion that the problems leading to the credit breach were the results of underinvestment, which is a CEO decision, and the after-effects of the breach may ultimately be quite costly, which we believe to be the case.’”

For Businessweek, Michael Riley and Dune Lawrence say, “Brian Yarbrough, an analyst for Edward Jones & Co. in St. Louis, called the data breach ‘the final straw,’ adding to concerns about lackluster U.S. sales and a Canadian expansion that’s lost three times the money Target initially expected. ‘The business has been struggling, the Canadian operation, and then you throw on top of that this massive data breach and the board probably sat down and said, it’s time for some change here,’ said Yarbrough.’”

In The Wall Street Journal Paul Ziobro writes, “Target has hired Korn/Ferry International to conduct the CEO search and will consider internal and external candidates. Potential candidates include two female executives at Target — Kathryn Tesija, head of merchandising, and Tina Schiel, who heads up the store operations — who since the data breach have taken on more of the day-to-day responsibility at the retailer while others have focused on dealing with the fallout.”

For Forbes, Samantha Sharf says, “Target shares were down close to 3 percent in morning trading following the news to as low as $60.05. The discount chain’s stock is down about 2.5 percent from December 18, 2013 — the day the breach was made public — and up about 18.7 percent since Steinhafel became CEO. (The S&P 500 is up 35.5 percent since May 2008.)”

Here in Minnesota, the Senate’s vision for building projects around the state will hit $1.16 billion. Stribber Baird Helgeson says, “Senate DFLers would spend $411 million in economic development projects, including roads and bridges. They want to spend $298 million on state colleges and universities, along with another $80 million in new housing around the state. It would be the largest investment in public housing in state history.” Briana Bierschbach’s MinnPost analysis is here.

In The New York Times, Ashley Southall says of the late Jim Oberstar: “Mr. Oberstar was a reliable vote for Democrats on fiscal issues and played a pivotal role as the Transportation Committee chairman in passing the 2009 stimulus act, which increased demand for steel from his district. He also helped enact a long-stalled water resources bill in 2007 over President George W. Bush’s veto.”

For the Washington Post, Tom Hamburger says, “His legacy is visible throughout his home state, where his Washington influence secured funding for public works projects including the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, a commuter rail system in the Twin Cities and a state-of-the-art water treatment plant in Ely. Although he was a prolific user of ‘earmarks,’ or federal spending tailored to particular projects, Mr. Oberstar had a reputation as a serious and hard-nosed expert in public works and transportation issues.” The complaint in the enlightened tide of 2010 was that he was “out of touch,” as I remember.

Still dry in SW Minnesota and … getting drier … . The AP says, “Heavy irrigation in farm country and increasing demand in the Twin Cities have raised recent concern among many Minnesotans about the adequacy of their water supplies. It’s an old problem in southwestern Minnesota, but one that is becoming more expensive to solve. This spring, for example, the city of Marshall, 95 miles northeast of Sioux Falls, is laying a $13 million, 27-mile pipe to bring water to its residents and businesses.”

Year-round Honeycrisps … . Says Reg Chapman of WCCO-TV, “Apple fans in Minnesota will soon be able to find a favorite apple in grocery stores year-round. … the patent on the apple has expired, but the university still has rights over international production. So, university researchers helped develop orchards in South America to deal with the demand. The apples are now grown in Chile and New Zealand.

Also in foodie news … . Keane Amdahl at City Pages says, “Certain areas of the Twin Cities are about to have much easier access to fresh food. The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation is sponsoring a new grocery-store-on-wheels program called Twin Cities Mobile Market. The foundation recently procured an old Metro Transit bus, which it will convert for use as a mobile market, bringing fresh food and produce to underserved areas of the Twin Cities.” What? So no Slim Jims and Little Debbies?

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