NEW YORK (AP) — Target shareholders elected all 10 nominees to the company's board despite recommendations from a prominent proxy advisory firm to get rid of the majority in the wake of massive data breach.
Institutional Shareholder Services last month targeted seven members who serve on the company's audit or corporate responsibility committees because they failed to spot the security threat. Included on that list were Anne Mulcahy, former chair and CEO at Xerox, and James A. Johnson, who was once the CEO at Fannie Mae.
ISS also recommended shareholders vote to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive, but that shareholder proposal was voted down. Two other shareholder proposals which called for eliminating executive perks and changing its discrimination policies for its suppliers and its workforce were voted down as well.
Shareholders did approve another management proposal that backed its new executive compensation plan.
The meeting, which was held in Dallas and broadcast online, comes at one of the most tumultuous times in Target's history as the retailer faces challenges on all fronts ranging from a massive pre-Christmas breach to a botched-up expansion in Canada. The company said it's searching for a permanent leader after ousting its CEO Gregg Steinhafel in late April.
In an address to shareholders Wednesday, John Mulligan, the company's chief financial officer who is acting CEO, reiterated to investors three priorities: revitalizing Target's U.S. business by constantly testing new products; becoming a digital leader and catering to shoppers jumping back and forth between online and physical stores; and improving operations in Canada.
"We have the resources and ability to move beyond these challenges," said Mulligan, calling Target a "world-class brand."