Four things for PR pros to know Thursday morning

Target appoints a new CEO; Google faces another antitrust investigation in Europe; AMC eyes BBC America.

Target has appointed a new CEO, former PepsiCo executive Brian Cornell. He will replace Gregg Steinhafel, who resigned in May amidst the fallout from a massive data breach at the retailer. Cornell previously spent nearly a decade at PepsiCo, including as head of the Americas Foods business. He also worked at Walmart, where he ran the Sam's Club chain, and he served as CEO of Michael's Stores for two years. At Target, he faces a number of challenges such as a damaged corporate reputation after the data breach, sluggish sales and a weak e-commerce division, and internal culture issues.

Google is facing scrutiny from European regulators over business practices related to its mobile operating system Android. With a new antitrust chief taking over in November, the European Commission is preparing a case that would examine whether Google unfairly uses Android's market dominance to promote services over those of competitors. In February, Google reached a tentative settlement with the EC after a nearly four-year investigation into its Web search practices, but the commission will make a final decision later this year. 

Johnson & Johnson is pulling a surgical tool that can inadvertently spread cancer in women. The company had suspended sales of new laparoscopic power morcellators in April after the FDA advised doctors not to use them. On Thursday, J&J will reach out to customers worldwide with a letter asking them to return the devices.

AMC Networks is in talks to acquire nearly 50% of BBC America, the US TV network owned by the commercial arm of the BBC. While BBC Worldwide would maintain control of the brand, the deal would allow BBC America to access AMC's advertising sales and distribution network. AMC Networks, whose outlets include the AMC channel as well as SundanceTV and IFC, has previously worked with BBC America on shows including Top of the Lake. The talks come amid consolidation in the pay-TV space, such as Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and AT&T's bid for DirecTV. Such deals could make smaller networks like AMC more vulnerable to pressure from large cable satellite groups.

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