Sept. 26 (UPI) — Equifax announced Tuesday that CEO Rick Smith will retire, just days after the credit reporting agency reported a massive data breach that impacts more than 140 million Americans.
The Atlanta-based company said Smith is retiring effective immediately — and that board member Mark Feidler will take over as executive chairman. Paulino de Rego Barros Jr., the company’s Asia Pacific region president, will serve as interim CEO.
Smith was a General Electric executive before he became Equifax CEO in 2005. He is scheduled to appear at a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee in October to explain the data breach.
Dave Webb, Equifax’s chief information officer, and chief security officer Susan Mauldin retired earlier this month.
The data breach sparked investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. The value of Equifax common stock has fallen 26 percent since the incident was reported.
In a company statement Tuesday, Feilder said, “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.”