Equifax CEO steps down amid backlash

The company’s chief retired ‘effective immediately’ only weeks after its data breach affected 143 million people. Some say the move is an attempt to duck out on his responsibility.

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Criticized for the way it handled its data breach, many are saying that Equifax also bungled the resignation of its chief.

Nearly three weeks after the company announced that it had suffered one of the most potentially devastating data breaches in modern history, chief executive Richard F. Smith has stepped down.

The breach, which was discovered on July 29 and reported to the public on Sept. 7, affected an estimated 143 million people. The hacker(s) gained access to names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses, among other information.

Smith, 57, said he is retiring, effective immediately.

“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 in a statement.

CNBC reported:

Equifax shares were down 0.5 percent Tuesday afternoon. They have fallen 27 percent in September after the company revealed the breach.

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