EQUIFAX CEO Richard Smith is stepping down from the company following the massive data breach that whacked it earlier this month.
The breach, which the firm has since blamed on an unpatched flaw in the Apache Struts Web Framework, exposed the social security numbers and other personal details of about 143 million Americans, or 44 per cent of the country's population.
Approximately 400,000 Brits may also have had their information stolen, with the firm admitting that while its UK systems weren't accessed during the breach, a file containing UK consumer information "may potentially have been accessed."
In a statement released on Tuesday, Equifax head honcho Richard Smith announced that he's "retiring" from his position after 12 years at the company.
In a statement, the now-former CEO called serving in the job an "honor," adding: I'm indebted to the 10,000 Equifax employees who have dedicated their lives to making this a better company," he 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," he said.
Equifax said that 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.
Feidler commented: "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 apologise.
"Our interim CEO, Paulino, is an experienced leader with deep knowledge of our company and the industry. The Board of Directors has absolute confidence in his ability to guide the company through this transition.
Smith's departure comes after Equifax's chief information officer and chief security officer also announced that they were stepping down. µ
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