Equifax CEO Retires after Data Breach of 143 Million U.S. Customers

The CEO of credit reporting agency Equifax is stepping down as a direct result of the infamous data breach that has endangered the personal details of some 143 million US consumers.

US credit reporting giant Equifax has released a statement that confirmed its chief executive Richard Smith will step down and retire as chief executive officer, a week before he was initially expected to testify before a Senate Banking Committee following the massive cyber attack that leaked birthdates, social security numbers and other personal data of some 143 million Americans. Richard Smith, who also serves as chairman of the Equifax board, has worked as CEO since 2006.

In a statement, Smith stated:

The cybersecurity incident has affected millions of consumers, and I have been completely dedicated to making this right. At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward.

The chief executive’s departure comes following two other executive exits this month. Both Equifax’s chief information officer and chief security officer have also stepped down.

Since Equifax’s disclosure of the incident, there have been reports that have hinted that the hack may have happened earlier than the revealed date. As things stand, the company is facing consequences for the breach. The FTC has confirmed it is investigating the breach.

In a statement on September 14, FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan stated:

The FTC typically does not comment on ongoing investigations. However, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, I can confirm that FTC staff is investigating the Equifax data breach.

In today’s announcement, Equifax further revealed it has formed a ‘Special Committee of the Board’ to look into all concerns and issues arising from a result of the incident to “ensure that all appropriate actions are taken.”

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