After huge Equifax breach, CEO "retires"

After huge Equifax breach, CEO

After huge Equifax breach, CEO "retires"

On Tuesday, Equifax CEO Richard Smith stepped down from his position effective immediately.

Feidler continued: "Speaking for everyone on the Board, I sincerely apologize".

Equifax says hackers broke into its system sometime between mid-May and July, gaining access to people's social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver license numbers and even credit card numbers.

Richard Smith will also forego his annual bonus as part of his termination agreement.

Smith will continue as an unpaid advisor during the search for a permanent replacement.

In a statement, Smith said he was dedicated to rectifying the issues surrounding the data breach, but he concluded that the company needed new leadership at this point.

Smith could still receive the full value from past stock awards, some of which are only received three years after they are granted, depending on what the special committee determines.

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The fact of the data breach isn't the only controversy swirling around Equifax, as NPR's Alina Selyukh has noted.

The breach has sparked multiple investigations at the state and federal level, including the Department of Justice in Atlanta, where Equifax is based, and the Federal Trade Commission.

The breach has caused much more concern than previous incidents, such as those involving Target and Yahoo, because of the amount of consumer data warehoused by Equifax and the nation's other two major credit reporting companies. He is set to appear at a Senate Banking Committee hearing next week, where is the only executive set to testify.

That's the credit reporting bureau that announced earlier this month a cyber-security breach put millions of Americans' personal information at risk. Board member Mark Feidler was appointed non-executive chairman.

"Security experts believe the Equifax breach would never have happened if the company had taken the time to patch a known vulnerability in their web software".

Some corporate governance experts said the board's probe into the attack could lead to more changes at the helm of the company.

Smith is the third Equifax executive to retire in the wake of the data breach disclosure. The lawsuit also orders the court to make Equifax to "maintain and appropriate security procedures for the highly sensitive information it handles".

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