Equifax CEO retires following data breach

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.

"The board remains deeply concerned about and totally focused on the cybersecurity incident", Mr. Feidler said in prepared remarks.

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

Along with ousting Smith, Equifax said it is creating a special committee to deal with its breach, and manage cybersecurity incidents in the future. Hackers could have had access to names, birthdays, addresses, social security numbers, driver's license numbers, and credit card information. It also elected a new chairman, appointed an interim CEO, and started the search for Smith's replacement. Under the company's pension plan, he is entitled to that pension under any circumstance, the spokesperson said.

'At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward, ' Smith said.

Depending on what that committee finds, the company could change Smith's departure to a termination, in which case he could be entitled to severance. As a credit monitoring service, Equifax holds data on almost every single American who has a credit card or has applied for a loan.

"So many Americans were affected, three million in MA", said John Canon, Information Security Officer at Greenfield Community College.

Smith was already scheduled to testify at twin hearings in early October.

Equifax chairman and chief executive Richard Smith has stepped down from the embattled credit rating agency, effective immediately. But Equifax didn't reveal the breach until early September.

Smith's abrupt departure follows the resignation of the company's chief security officer and chief information officer as Equifax continues to reel from the hacking scandal.

Equifax, one the largest credit reporting companies in the United States, said hackers were able to obtain names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses of more than 40 percent of the USA population.

The lawsuit seeks restitution for California consumers, civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation of the law, and a court order requiring Equifax to implement and maintain appropriate security procedures for the highly sensitive information it handles. Consumers can also sign up for credit monitoring, which will be free for a year.

  • Jon Douglas