By Jim Finkle
BOSTON (Reuters) - Target Corp interim Chief Executive John Mulligan said he has no interest in becoming the company's chief executive, though that will not undermine his ability to help the company recover from its massive data breach and missteps in Canada.
"Interim here does not mean idle. We are going to make progress and continue to make progress," he said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, a day after the board the announced the departure of CEO and Chairman Gregg Steinhafel. "This is about driving our business forward and not just maintaining it."
Target shares fell 3.5 percent on Monday amid concerns the board's decision to oust Steinhafel some five months after unprecedented data breach means that the No. 3 U.S. retailer might have even more bad news for investors.
Yet Mulligan said in the interview that investigators have determined that the data theft was limited to what company has already disclosed -- some 40 million payment card numbers and other data from about 70 million customers.
The company had previously warned that the probe might reveal that the breach was more extensive than understood at the time.
He said he could not provide an estimate on how much Target will have to pay to cover losses from the breach.
"The largest exposure out there is third-party credit and debit card exposure," he said. It will take several more months before the retailer understands the size of those losses, he added.
(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Alden Bentley and David Gregorio)