ATLANTA -- At her first shareholder meeting as chief executive of TJX Cos., Carol Meyerowitz apologized for the Framingham merchant's recent security breach that involved the theft of at least 45.7 million credit and debit card numbers and said she wished the incident -- the biggest loss of personal data reported -- never happened.
Meyerowitz, who took over the helm of the company in January, said increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals are a global and complex problem for government agencies, hospitals, universities, and retailers who have all suffered attacks in recent years. Despite having security measures in place, TJX said hackers still managed to get into its systems.
"But we had locks," Meyerowitz said.
It was one of the first times TJX held its annual shareholder meeting outside of its hometown Framingham. Only a handful of shareholders attended yesterday's meeting and none asked about the security breach. The company refused questions from the media.
A company spokeswoman said the shareholder meeting coincided with a yearly off-site trip by the board of directors. This year Atlanta was selected because it is one of TJX's largest markets and the company operates a distribution center in a nearby town.
(By Jenn Abelson, Globe staff)