Equifax CEO suddenly retires following an epic data breach


In a show of character, Equifax CEO Richard Smith has suddenly retired according to this CNBC report. Equifax has been in damage control ever since a major breach put 143 million people at risk for identity theft.

Richard Smith, CEO and chairman of Equifax, abruptly retired Tuesday following a data breach at the credit-reporting service that affected the personal information of 143 million people, according to the company’s board.

Equifax shares fell 1.6 percent in morning trading on Tuesday. They have fallen 27 percent in September after the company revealed the breach.

The announcement was made by Mark Feidler, a current board member, who will serve as Non-Executive Chairman. Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., president of company’s Asia Pacific region, has been appointed as interim CEO.

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 company said its chief information officer and chief security officer retired earlier this month.

Three other executives, including the chief financial officer, have drawn scrutiny for selling $1.8 billion of company stock just days after the breach was discovered internally but weeks before it was announced to the public.

Smith’s salary for 2016 was $1.45 million and his bonus was $3.045 million. In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, the company said Smith will not get a bonus for this year and any other decisions regarding how his departure from the company has been characterized or how much the company owes him will be deferred until the board completes an independent review of the breach and the response to it.

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