Target's CEO ousted over security breach could take $55 million as he exits

Target's CEO ousted over security breach could take $55 million as he exits

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NOVATO, CA - MAY 22: The Target logo is posted in front of a Target store on May 22, 2013 in Novato, California. Target reported weaker than expected first quarter earnings with profits of $498 million, or 77 cents per share compared to $697 million, or $1.04 per share one year ago. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Posted on May 5, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Gary Strauss  /  USA Today

Gregg Steinhafel may no longer be Target's CEO, but he isn't checking out from the discount retailer without a potentially big bag of cash, stock and pension benefits.

The company said in a Monday filing that Steinhafel will receive unspecified severance after announcing his resignation five months after a massive security data breach exposed millions of customers' credit cards and personal information.

Standard severance pay among chief executives is typically three times annual salary. But Target executives have no employment contracts. Still, the company's "income continuance policy" provided to terminated senior managers cover two times base salary, plus the total average of three years of short-term incentives and personal performance payouts, according to the corporate filings.

According to Target;'s 2013 proxy, Steinhafel could receive at least $11.7 million salary and incentive pay, pension benefits worth over $1.2 million and more than $42 million in deferred compensation. As of Target's 2013 proxy filing, Steinhafel also had $12.7 million in restricted shares that would vest.

Steinhafel, who will remain as an adviser while Target transitions to a new CEO, is a 35-year company veteran who was named CEO in 2008. Predecessor Robert Ulrich left the company in 2007 with a far bigger golden parachute, including nearly $141 million in deferred pay.

Target has yet to file its 2014 proxy statement detailing 2013 executive compensation. Steinhafel received compensation valued at nearly $20.7 million in 2012, gained $7.7 million exercising stock options and another $6.3 million from vested shares.

Target had yet to respond to emails or telephone calls Monday afternoon. Target shares are down 3% to $60.10.

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