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Equifax CEO Smith steps down following massive cyber hack

The credit-monitoring firm disclosed on September 7 that hackers had access to its systems between mid-May and July

Reuters 

hacking
Hacking

Inc said on Tuesday its Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith will step down and forgo his annual bonus, a move that came weeks into a mounting crisis at the credit-monitoring firm stemming from a massive

is being investigated by the US Federal Trade Commission, and faces a barrage of questions from Congress and public ire over what has widely been viewed as a bungled response to a hack that exposed the personal details of up to 143 million US consumers.

The credit-monitoring firm disclosed on Sept. 7 that hackers had access to its systems between mid-May and July.

The announcement that Smith, 57, would depart came ten days after the company said its chief information officer and chief security officer were retiring.

Shares of were down 1.6 percent at $103.35 early on Tuesday.

"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 in a statement.

Paulino do Rego Barros, 61, who was most recently president of Equifax's Asia-Pacific operations, will be interim

The announcement comes a week before Smith was expected to testify before multiple congressional committees about the attack.

A spokeswoman for the US House Energy and Commerce Committee said Smith, whose retirement was effective on Tuesday, would still testify before the panel on Oct. 3. The Senate Banking Committee did not immediately respond when asked if Smith would appear as scheduled on Oct. 4.

"Rick Smith is scheduled to testify before Congress. It's up to the committee to decide if they want another executive," an spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. "We will fully cooperate with Congress, as we have since this cybersecurity incident was first disclosed."

The company and Smith agreed that will defer any decision related to "any obligations or benefits" owed to him until the company's board completes an independent review of the breach, according to a regulatory filing. Smith earned a total of $14.96 million in 2016.

shares have fallen more than 30 percent since the disclosure of the breach amid mounting criticism from lawmakers, regulators and consumers about the hack and the company's response to it.

In 2014, Target Greg Steinhafel left the retailer after it was revealed hackers had accessed and personal information belonging to tens of millions of shoppers.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 26 2017. 22:52 IST
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