Update: Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel says, ‘I am genuinely sorry’

Following a groundswell of criticism and a wave of Internet-fueled protest, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized today to Target employees.

In a message posted on the Target website, Steinhafel wrote:

 “The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.”

Steinhafel went on to say the company will review its “decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena. And later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.’’

Here’s the full text (PDF) of Steinhafel’s letter.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Terry Nagle on 08/05/2010 - 08:56 pm.

    May we anticipate an apology to we customers and investors is in the offing?

  2. Submitted by Cecil North on 08/06/2010 - 10:01 am.

    Great. Now, let’s talk about your contributions to Prop 8 and Ms. Bachmann.

  3. Submitted by Addy Free on 08/06/2010 - 01:04 pm.

    Just biked past Target HQ and there are people outside demonstrating and speaking with passersby. I wanted to stop and asking them what their sustaining notion is after the apology. Are people asking for some sort of balancing expenditure or just keeping Target on their toes?

  4. Submitted by Annie Grandy on 08/06/2010 - 01:53 pm.

    “our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation.”
    Mr. Steinhafel your hypocrisy is showing. Experience (the great depression), most economists and study after study have shown that the policies espoused by candidates like Emmer may stimulate your company’s and your personal ‘economic growth’ but do very little for ‘job creation’. The recession/depression we are in right now is a perfect example. Taxes were lowered by Bush – where are the jobs? Why was there a huge economic downturn in 2008? Taxes were lowered before that. Why didn’t it work? The only thing that happens when you lower taxes is that rich executives, like you, are able to keep more of the money they make in bonuses by euphemistically ‘improving productivity'(reducing the number of jobs and increasing the amount of work the remaining workers have to perform.) Tell the truth, Mr Steinawful, you could care less about job creation.

  5. Submitted by Rick Prescott on 08/06/2010 - 01:58 pm.

    This apology may be sincerely felt, but it essentially says, “OK, you caught us. And in the future, we’re going to try and figure out a way to make sure less people notice when we do the same thing again.”

    That is not to say they don’t support GLBT rights. But they value profit more. No surprise, that.

    A better response might have been to pledge to work with their chosen political party to identify candidates whose views on social issues are more in keeping with their own espoused corporate values.

    And the critical lesson Steinhafel should take away from this flap is that many of his employees and customers care far more about ending discrimination than they do about Target’s profits.

  6. Submitted by David Willard on 08/07/2010 - 11:11 am.

    What a weenie. Buh-Bye Target. Just spent 300 dollars at Wal-Mart this morning. Had to drive 10 more miles, but it’s worth it.

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