Target CMO, Jeff Jones, in response to an article posted by an anonymous employee on Gawker:
• "You’d think that these two incidents alone [Data Breach & CEO resignation] would create enough pain to last a brand a lifetime but one of the most challenging things that has happened, in my opinion, have been reports, some attributed to unnamed team members, that paint a picture of a culture that is in crisis. When a recent post on a well-known blog called me out by name, it only felt right that I should respond."
• "While we would have preferred to have a conversation like this with the team member directly, speaking openly and honestly, and challenging norms is exactly what we need to be doing today and every day going forward."
Takeaway From Hedgeye’s Brian McGough:
Normally we wouldn't characterize the opinion of one disgruntled employee as indicative of the corporate culture, but the fact that Target's CMO, Jeff Jones, personally addressed the anonymous letter in public is telling. Jones was actually the only person called out as being a positive influence in the executive ranks. He's speaking up on behalf of the executive officers of Target, most of whom are afraid for their jobs. They should be.
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Editor's Note: This is a complimentary research excerpt from Hedgeye Retail Sector Head Brian McGough. Follow McGough on Twitter @HedgeyeRetail.