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Equifax CEO Richard Smith Announces ‘Retirement’ Following Data Breach

Smith had led company for 12 years

Equifax CEO Richard Smith announced his abrupt retirement from the company on Tuesday in the wake of a massive data breach that compromised the personal information of as many as 143 million people.

According to CNN, Equifax’s board named Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., an executive from its Asia Pacific division, to act as interim CEO while searching for a permanent replacement for Smith, who had led the company for 12 years.

Equifax learned of the breach in late July but only disclosed it on Sept. 7 — leading to widespread public outcry and calls for congressional action as well as an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

The board also formed a special committee to focus on the breach and ensure “all appropriate actions are taken.”

Equifax chief information officer and chief security officer resigned last week as the fallout from the disclosure has grown.

Company shares fell 1.6 percent in early trading on Tuesday, according to CNBC. They have fallen 27 percent in September after the company revealed the breach.

Meanwhile, the internet reacted with a share of scorn and disbelief at Smith’s “retirement.”