Equifax Inc. Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith stepped down, joining other senior managers who left the credit-reporting company in the wake of an uproar over the theft of private data on 143 million Americans.
Smith will be replaced on an interim basis by Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., 61, a seven-year company veteran who was most recently president of the Asia-Pacific region, the Atlanta-based firm said Tuesday in a statement. Board member Mark Feidler, a former BellSouth Corp. president, was named non-executive chairman.
“The cybersecurity incident has affected millions of consumers, and I have been completely dedicated to making this right,” Smith said in the statement. “At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward.”
Equifax has drawn outrage from lawmakers and scrutiny from regulators since Sept. 7, when it disclosed one of the biggest cyberattacks in history. Hackers stole sensitive data — including Social Security numbers, birth dates and other identifying information — for much of the adult U.S. population. Smith will still testify before Congress next week about the breach, Equifax spokeswoman Ines Gutzmer said in an email.
Read more at Bloomberg.