Tesco has lost its CIO Mike McNamara to US retailer Target, which suffered one of the largest hacks in retail history during 2013 with 110 million people affected.
McNamara will move stateside to be report to Target CEO Brian Cornell as its CIO and lead the US retailer's omni-channel retail strategy. Target is one of the largest retailers in the US.
In a statement Cornell said: "Finding the right leader for this role was one of my absolute top priorities. Mike 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."
At Tesco McNamara played a pivotal role in securing an eight year deal with Microsoft that saw the retailer obtain unlimited licences from Microsoft. In 2011 Microsoft was still very wedded to its licence model of revenue and sources close to both Microsoft and Tesco tell CIO UK that Microsoft felt the full force of Tesco's market strength in the negotiations. Tesco has very recently lost some of its market strength as a result of falling sales and an accounting irregularity.
Target state that McNamara replaces Bob DeRodes as CIO and that DeRodes was "pivotal in guiding Target's information security efforts" following the major hack that Target suffered during Christmas 2013.
McNamara was with Tesco for 15 years and became overall CIO in 2011 having been CIO of the ecommerce division, and replaced Philip Clarke who had been CIO and became the CEO before stepping down in September 2014.
At Target McNamara will be responsible for all technology operations, strategy and the information security strategy.
"Tesco is a world class brand and I'm grateful for the time I spent there," McNamara said in a statement. "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."
McNamara already has experience of the US retail scene through Tesco's ill-fated Fresh & Easy venture which ultimately failed.