The CIO at Tesco, Mike McNamara is quitting his role and moving to the US to join retailer Target.
McNamara worked at Tesco since 1999 and led the aggressive move to online retailing, investing in over £150m since 2012 in a series of e-commerce and mobile innovations.
However following its well-publicised financial difficulties, Tesco announced in August 2014 that it was cutting back its IT spending to reduce costs. Several senior directors have left the company over the past few months.
Tesco has decided not to replace McNamara as CIO, and instead is looking for a chief technology officer. Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said: "Mike McNamara has been a tremendous asset to our business and we are sad to see him go. Given this change we take the opportunity to build on Mike's legacy by taking the next step in technology and recruit a chief technology officer."
Target suffered a huge data breach back in 2013, affecting about 40 million credit and debit cards of its customers, with the information of 70 million people thought to have been compromised.
Beth Jacob, the CIO at Target back in 2013, resigned two and a half months after the breach, and was replaced by Bob DeRhodes, formally a senior IT advisor for the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Secretary of Defence and the US Department of Justice. Bob DeRhodes is now retiring after helping to overhaul the company's IT security.
Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said: "Technology is critical for Target's future success. So finding the right leader for this role was one of my absolute top priorities.
"Mike McNamara has been a driving force for technology innovation throughout his career. He's got a stellar track record, and I'm excited to see how he'll help our team continue to push new innovations that enhance the shopping experience for Target guests, both online and in stores."
Target say McNamara's new role will have oversight of the technology team and operations, and will help shape strategy as a member of the firm's leadership team.
McNamara said: "Tesco is a world class brand and I'm grateful for the time I spent there. Looking ahead, I'm thrilled to join Target at a time when Brian and the leadership team are intensifying their investment in technology and prioritising its role in Target's future success.
"I have long admired Target as a retailer and its legacy of putting customers first. To be part of an organisation like Target and help shape the future of its technology and omni-channel strategy was a dream opportunity for me."
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