Equifax chief exec. Richard Smith steps down; 3rd exec to leave since breach

The chief executive of breached credit agency Equifax announced his retirement on today (Tuesday Sept. 26th), following the fallout from the massive data breach that exposed personal information of 143 million people within the Equifax databases.

Richard Smith, 57, is retiring with immediate effect, and is the third senior executive to leave since the breach was reported earlier this month. Equifax’s chief information officer and chief security officer have already left the company since the breach.

In a statement issued by Equifax, Smith had said: “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.”

Mr Smith has been chairman and chief executive officer of the company since 2005. His total compensation 2016 was $14.9m in 2016, and he stands to receive $18.4M in retirement benefits according to Bloomberg.

What do we think?

To be honest, we think that executives who leave under a cloud following this type of breach should forfeit their severance and retirement benefits. Perhaps holding the executives financially responsible for failings under their watch, they might do a better job of protecting the data in their charge.

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