March 20 2018

Equifax CEO steps down after data breach controversy

March 20 2018, 11:32 | Erick Evans

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Equifax CEO Richard Smith, who was paid a salary of almost $12 million, has decided that allowing the leak of personal information on 143 million Americans is pretty much the best he can do, and is now retiring from his post.

The Senate committee on banking, housing and urban affairs will hold a hearing on the scandal on 4 October and Smith is still expected to testify.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as well as the House Oversight Committee are now investigating Equifax and its data security practices.

Three high-ranking executives at Equifax, the massive credit assessment company, sold almost $1.8 million worth of stock just days after the company detected a large-scale data breach, according to Bloomberg.

While the embattled credit agency searches for a permanent replacement, Smith will carry on as an unpaid adviser. Until then, Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., previously President of Asia Pacific for Equifax, will be interim CEO, while current board member Mark Feidler will become non-Executive Chairman.

"The Board remains deeply concerned about and totally focused on the cybersecurity incident", Feidler said in a statement.

It's not just that the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of a significant portion of the US population were stolen from a company many people cared little about before this hack.

According to Leshokhin, the Equifax breach highlights a shortage of talented developers who can keep up with business demand and tech complexity at the same time, creating further software risk.

Smith's departure comes after Equifax's chief information officer and chief security officer also announced that they were stepping down.

Equifax CEO Richard Smith is out after the company's embarrassing data breach and botched response.

Equifax had tried to appease incensed lawmakers, consumers and investors on September 15 with the unceremonious retirement of its chief security officer and chief information officer who were responsible for managing and protecting the company's technology. Equifax says they have experienced technical issues and are working to resolve those glitches. The company later said those executives were not aware of the hack before deciding to sell their stocks. The company said 143 million consumers may have been affected by the breach of sensitive information. So to make that clear: If you sign up for the Equifax protection, you do not give up your right to arbitration or being part of a class-action suit.

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