The CEO of Equifax has suddenly retired after a major data breach that left over 100 million people affected.
Richard Smith is the CEO and chairman of Equifax. On Tuesday, he retired following a data breach at the credit-reporting service that affected the private information of 143 million people, according to Equifax. As a result, Equifax shares dropped 1.6% in early Tuesday trading, which is on top of the double-digit drop that occurred this month after the company revealed the data breach.
The announcement was made by Mark Feidler, who is a current board member. In the meantime, Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., president of company’s Asia Pacific region, has been appointed as the interim CEO.
In a statement on Tuesday, Feidler said, “The Board remains deeply concerned about and totally focused on the cybersecurity incident. We are working intensely to support consumers and make the necessary changes to minimize the risk that something like this happens again.” He added that the board had formed a special committee to focus on issues stemming from the breach.
Smith became the CEO and chairman of Equifax in 2005 after spending 22 years at General Electric. He is set to appear at a Senate Banking Committee hearing next week, where is the only executive set to testify. He is also set to testify at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The data breach has sparked multiple investigations at the state and federal level, including the Department of Justice in Atlanta and the Federal Trade Commission. But, it is important to point out that the company’s CEO is not the only executive who has retired this month. Equifax revealed the chief information officer and the chief security officer retired in September.
The biggest criticism against Equifax is the report the chief financial officer and several other executives sold $1.8 billion of company stock just days after the company discovered the breach internally but weeks before Equifax announced to the public.