Another Executive Down: Equifax CEO Richard Smith

by Garry Watts September 29, 2017, 0:16
Another Executive Down: Equifax CEO Richard Smith

"I've called for Equifax executives to be held accountable for their role in failing to stop this data breach and hiding it from the public for 40 days", the MA lawmaker said in a statement.

Feidler continued: "Speaking for everyone on the Board, I sincerely apologize". Equifax's board of directors has set up a special committee review the breach.

The files contained full names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and other information that would make it easy to steal identities.

Smith himself said: "Serving as CEO of Equifax has been an honour, and I'm indebted to the 10,000 Equifax employees who have dedicated their lives to making this a better company".

Smith will receive his $18.4 million pension and retirement benefits upon leaving, an Equifax spokesperson said.

Smith has been called to testify at several congressional hearings.

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

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Smith had been in charge of Equifax, which has over 10,000 staff and a presence in 24 countries, for 12 years.

Equifax is framing the departure as a retirement for Smith, who also served as chairman of the board, though he acknowledged it's really about the hack.

The retirement should spare Smith from an anticipated public relations nightmare: A scheduled October 3 appearance before Congress where he was likely to serve as the fall guy in the mess. Board member Mark Feidler is in turn taking over as chairman, a position that was until now held by Smith.

The statement from Herrera's office accused Equifax of failing to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices, not providing timely notice of the data breach to affected users in California and giving incomplete information when the disclosure was finally made.

"The American public deserves answers about what went wrong at Equifax and what the company plans to do going forward", she said.

Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting firms in the U.S. The company said on September 7 that it discovered a breach on July 29, affecting millions, including some outside the United States.

"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". Equifax is temporarily waiving its normal fee for credit freeze as another part of its effort make amends for its security breakdown.

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