Dado Ruvic / Reuters
Equifax Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith stepped down today in the wake of the company's massive security breach that exposed the personal information of up to 143 million people.
Equifax said today that an in-house executive, Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., the president of the company's Asia-Pacific business, would serve as interim CEO while a board member, Mark Feidler, would become the company's chairman.
"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," Smith said in a statement. Smith had served as the company's chairman and CEO since 2005.
Smith is just the latest executive to step down following the disclosure of the breach earlier this month. The company's chief security and chief information officers stepped down on Sept. 15.
Equifax has been intensely criticized not just for allowing the breach, but for how it communicated to the public in the days following, which included confusing terms of service and unclear descriptions of the products and services it offered to those affected to help them protect their identity and credit. Over 30 state attorneys general are investigating the breach, as is the Federal Trade Commission.
Smith had been scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee Monday.