Target CEO apologizes for donation to MN Forward

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel today apologized to Target employees for donating funds to a group that is backing Republican Tom Emmer’s bid for governor. In the letter, Steinhafel wrote that the company will create a review of their political donations and will also bring together a group of companies to discuss ways to improve GLBT relations.

Target has been heavily criticized for donating to MN Forward, an independent expenditure group that is backing Emmer’s campaign for governor. Democrats and gay rights groups called for a boycott of the group.

Here’s the full letter:

Civic Activity

A Message From Gregg Steinhafel, Chairman, President and CEO

8/5/2010

Dear Target Leaders,

I have heard from many of you, and our team members, over the past week regarding Target’s contribution to MN Forward, and I appreciate your engagement and candor, both of which clearly demonstrate your loyalty and passion for our company.

In situations like this, it is often difficult to find the right words, but I would like to respond with the same honesty you have shown me.

The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.

We remain fully committed to fostering an environment that supports and respects the rights and beliefs of all individuals. The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.

Going forward, we will soon begin a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena. And later this fall, Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.

Thank you for sharing your input and for your continued commitment to making Target an even stronger company.

Sincerely,

Gregg Steinhafel

Chairman, President and CEO