Equifax, the embattled credit scoring firm reeling from a data breach that may have impacted as many as 143 million U.S. consumers, announced news on Tuesday (Sept. 26) that Richard Smith will retire as chairman of the board and CEO of the company.
In a press release, the company said Board Member Mark Feidler will serve as non-executive chairman. Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., who most recently served as president, Asia Pacific, and is a seven-year veteran of the company, has been appointed as interim CEO of Equifax.
“The Board remains deeply concerned about and totally focused on the cybersecurity incident. We are working intensely to support consumers and make the necessary changes to minimize the risk that something like this happens again. Speaking for everyone on the Board, I sincerely apologize. We have formed a Special Committee of the Board to focus on the issues arising from the incident and to ensure that all appropriate actions are taken,” Mark Feidler said in the press release.
Richard Smith is the most recent executive to leave the company in the wake of the data breach that, in addition to impacting 143 million consumers, exposed the credit card numbers of 209,000.
“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,” said Smith in the Equifax press release announcing his retirement. “Equifax is a substantially stronger company than it was 12 years ago. At this time, however, the Board and Rick agree that a change of leadership is in order.”
In the wake of the breach, the company let go Chief Information Officer David Webb and Chief Security Officer Susan Mauldin. The cybersecurity incident also prompted a slew of investigations from the Federal Trade Commission and every state attorney general.