Equifax CEO retires after mega breach

The judge’s decision Monday represents the final approval of a settlement deal initially proposed in July. (Flickr)

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Equifax CEO Richard Smith will be stepping down from his position as chairman of the board and chief executive officer, the company announced Thursday.

The change comes three weeks after the credit monitoring company revealed a data breach affecting up to 143 million U.S. residents. Data on names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers were stolen from the company’s databases.

“Serving as CEO of Equifax has been an honor, and I’m indebted to the 10,000 Equifax employees who have dedicated their lives to making this a better company,” Smith said in a release.  “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.”

Current Equifax board member Mark Feidler will serve as non-executive chairman. Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., who most recently served as president of Equifax’s Asia Pacific division, has been appointed as interim CEO.

The company has had a tumultuous three weeks since first announcing the breach. Earlier this month, Equifax’s chief information officer and chief security officer retired in the incident’s wake.

Since the breach came to public light, multiple class action suits have been filed against the company.

Additionally, the breach has drawn the ire of multiple branches of the federal government. Lawmakers have called on Smith to testify in front of Congress. The Federal Trade Commission is also investigating.

The company has said hackers targeted an old version of the Apache Struts framework in order to steal the data.

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breaches, Equifax, Richard Smith
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