Equifax Chairman, CEO Richard Smith Retiring Effective Immediately

Tyler Durden's picture

Less than two weeks after the top security individuals at Equifax "retired" after what may have been the biggest hack in U.S. corporate history, moments ago the company announced that the exodus from the sinking ship continued when company Chairman and CEO, Richard Smith, has also "retired" effective immediately. As such, it remains unclear if anyone at the organization will actually be "fired" for what is gross, and potentially criminal, corporate negligence.

Smith took the helm of Equifax 12 years ago and transformed it from what he once described as a staid, slow-growing credit-reporting company into a data giant.

Smith bought companies with databases that contained information about consumers’ employment histories, salaries and savings while also expanding internationally to places like Australia and India.

The result: by 2016, credit-reporting activities accounted for less than a third of revenues versus about 80% a decade earlier. Equifax’s market value soared to nearly $18 billion, more than quadruple its value when Smith started.

The Board also said it had appointed current Board member, Mark Feidler, to serve as Non-Executive Chairman, while Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., who most recently served as President of Asia Pacific has been appointed as interim Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Smith

Commenting on the resignation, the company's non-executive Chairman Mark Fielder said that "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 apologize. We have formed a Special Committee of the Board to focus on the issues arising from the incident and to ensure that all appropriate actions are taken."

It is unclear if Smith's retirement clears him and any others of potential insider stock sales that may have taken place during the time when the company was aware of the data breach, which was only disclosed to the public some three weeks ago.

From the press release:

Equifax Chairman, CEO, Richard Smith Retires; Mark Feidler Named as Chairman; Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr. Named as Interim CEO

 

The Board of Equifax Inc. today announced that Richard Smith will retire as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, effective September 26, 2017. The Board of Directors appointed current Board member, Mark Feidler, to serve as Non-Executive Chairman. Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., who most recently served as President, Asia Pacific, and is a seven-year veteran of the company, has been appointed as interim Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Smith. The Board will undertake a search for a new permanent Chief Executive Officer, considering candidates both from within and outside the company. Mr. Smith has agreed to serve as an unpaid adviser to Equifax to assist in the transition.

 

Mark Feidler stated, "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 apologize. We have formed a Special Committee of the Board to focus on the issues arising from the incident and to ensure that all appropriate actions are taken."

 

"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," Feidler continued.

 

Richard Smith said, "Serving as CEO of Equifax has been an honor, and I'm indebted to the 10,000 Equifax employees who have dedicated their lives to making this a better company.

 

"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 added.

 

"On behalf of the Board, I express my appreciation to Rick for his 12 years of leadership," Feidler said. "Equifax is a substantially stronger company than it was 12 years ago. At this time, however, the Board and Rick agree that a change of leadership is in order."

 

Feidler is a partner and co-founder of MSouth, a private equity investment firm. He has served as an independent director for Equifax since 2007. Feidler served as president and COO of BellSouth Corporation until its merger with AT&T in December 2006. Previously, from 2000 to 2003, Feidler was the COO of Cingular Wireless, commencing upon the formation of Cingular when BellSouth and AT&T (formerly SBC) merged their domestic wireless operations to form Cingular.

 

Paulino Barros most recently led the company's Asia-Pacific business, which includes the largest acquisition in Equifax's history – Veda, the leading provider of credit information and analysis in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, Barros led the company's U.S. Information Solutions (USIS) business and prior to that led the company's International business unit. Prior to Equifax, Barros founded and served as president of PB&C – Global Investments, LLC and previously served in several executive positions at BellSouth Corporation and AT&T, including president of Global Operations for AT&T. His previous experience includes executive and managerial roles at Motorola, Inc., The NutraSweet Company and Monsanto Company.

Considering the recent stock price performance, Smith's decision is hardly surprising. (EFX just re-opened down 3% following the news)

Meanwhile, the question of how some 143 million Americans will protect their hacked personal data remains unanswered.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
LawsofPhysics's picture

LOL!  The board of directors should take his fucking head. Come on boys, send a real message for a fucking change.

cossack55's picture

Maybe he is retiring to Kansas, around the Leavenworth area

Shitonya Serfs's picture

Ah, retire and all your legal issues disappear. Nice.

jcaz's picture

Yeah, sorry Dick-  "retiring" isn't gonna clear you of insider trading violations,  unless you're "retiring" to a non-extradition country......

It DOES allow him to sell his shares in the company unencumbered, tho-  whatsamatter, Dick- stock going to zero?  Tick-tock, mutherfuker......

HenryKissingerZuckerberg's picture

Smith bought companies with databases that contained information about consumers’ employment histories, salaries and savings while also expanding internationally to places like Australia and India.

India, there it is.

 

peddling-fiction's picture

So, the Fiddler was "let go" to appease "us".

What about the crypto-musician?

Froman's picture

Too much to hope for, while he as well as his CFO should be doing time he will "retire" for about 2-3 years, the board instead of clawing back any of compensation package will let him walk away with a minimum of $20mm.  During his 2-3 years he will become a professional board member then at 3 years he will be appointed as CEO for another company, screw up the company and walk away with millions.  Meanwhile, back in the real world people who are spending the majority of their income on food, rent and healthcare will have their identities stolen and have to figure out how to solve the issue costing them thousands out of pocket.  Just like they ban athletes from competing when they dope they need to do the same thing to these CEOs and allow for class action civil suits againt the CEO personally to recover for damages.

small axe's picture

"No Records Available", but thanks

cossack55's picture

Hopefully soon will be same as Ken Lay

WillyGroper's picture

what, sippin mai tai's w/scalia?

how much loot did he get away with?

the revolving door record follows him.  the world is getting a bit smaller thanks to the "data miners."

 

i can't imagine how this could possibly tie in.../s

just a measly 500 per year in the district of criminals alone. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj4AD8JEBiQ

Buck Johnson's picture

This asshole knows this is bad and he's getting out while the getting is good.  Even though it won't protect him because as what was said at the end how are these 143 million people going to protect their credit and everything else since everything from personal data and SS numbers are out.

 

NoDebt's picture

.... To a non-extradition country.

 

Arnold's picture

Should I apply for the open position?

My Wildlife Management Degree from an accredited Community College should be adequate.

gregga777's picture

You're way over-qualified for the CONporate world.

Arnold's picture

Managing the Wildlife.
Hookers and Blow.
It ain't as easy as it looks.

Stan522's picture

Run Forrest. Run!!!!!

dirty belly's picture

Further Evidence Of

IMPLOSION.

4johnny's picture

retiring to a jail cell?

RagaMuffin's picture

Since SCOTUS decreed that corporations have first ammendment rights, as if they were individuals, why not prosecute them as if they were individuals?

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Knowing our justice system, that would mean all 10,000 employees would be consigned to a massive white collar debt-prison, along with their families. 

That sort of happens already, if you think about it.

RagaMuffin's picture

Can you expand on that?  As it stands Equifax may or may not survive, but there is no indicated additional liability for the employees.stockholders, bondholders, etc SCOTUS merely created another can of worms out of thin air, remarkably like the FED and money. A legal precedent there for the picking?

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

a broken man fleeing to palm springs ..almost flat broke with only paltry millions in bonus money to live on..oh the humanity

CRM114's picture

He'll have to settle for a 150ft yacht - the embarrassment!!

DarthVaderMentor's picture

This is the beginning of the end of the use of the Social Security number to identify individuals for financial reasons. It was never intednded for this, but the pro-big government, pro-soft communism globalist elite drones and banksters used it anyway.

 

Xena fobe's picture

Retiring to cash in his remaining shares before they become worthless.

koan's picture

What were their pay outs? Will they face charges?

rusty_nail's picture

I know this is beating a dead horse, but We The People need to return to the true meaning of words. Let us translate ...

HE WAS FIRED.

esum's picture

hack or leak...??? 

LAWSUITS to follow

the company should be shut down

Grumpy Vermonter's picture

You can run, but you can't hide!

Pollygotacracker's picture

My credit score is 820+. Who cares. If I get charges to my name, I am not responsible for, I am not paying. Fuck these credit reporting bureaus. Useless eaters.

vollderlerby's picture

Give the chairman the chair.

Baronneke's picture

The "electric" version ???

gregga777's picture

Who gives a shot about what some cocksucking CONporate PR flank has to say about anything? Why weren't these totally incompetent, Affirmative Action morons fired for cause? Why aren't they at least being held to some accountability by the same corrupt, cocksucking American Business School graduates that warm their fat asses on their board of directors seats?

Rhetorical questions all. Accountability among the totally corrupt, cocksucking elites in America doesn't exist anymore. So why should anyone be held accountable for keying their Aston Martins, Lamborghini, Ferarris, etc? Or for accidentally running their asses over in the CONporate parking garage? Or for looking the other way as they drown or get robbed? Shit, I'd applaud all of that.

gespiri's picture

Doesn't mean shit.....he should still be indicted.

gregga777's picture

That cunt Carly Fiorina ran both Lucent and Hewlett-Packard into the ground. Her reward, besides a few hundred million dollars, was getting to run for President in the 2016 Repussican primaries.

Gophamet's picture

Hopefully the Weasel's golden parachute works as well as the IT security the scumbag ignored!

silverer's picture

Time to take my golden parachute retirement, leave this annoying place and go golfing, travel the world, buy a boat and have fun. I knew I would be rewarded if I fucked up completely.

Yours truly,

Equifax CEO

gregga777's picture

I hope that someone recognizes you and throws you under an 18-wheeler.

Yours Truly,

America

gregga777's picture

CONporate criminals like these Equifux cocksuckers are who the American people should be mowing down in droves. They should all be treated like cocksucking cockroaches: "You can run but you can't hide."

ConnectingTheDots's picture

Wondering how big his golden parachute is.

Should be good for a job well done. /sarc

CRM114's picture

I'm a literal kinda guy - Should we hand him a large sack of money and invite him to step out of an aircraft at 15,000ft?

economessed's picture

Aside from his desire to "spend more time with his family" I would suggest that the only appropriate job for him is clearing obstructions from wood chippers with his feet.

Equifax is one of the worlds most opportunistic parasites.  It must be eradicated like a petulant boil on the ass of a camel.

G_T_A_44's picture

Equifax and Wells Fargo should both be shut down permanently.Amongst others. The Fraud & Corruption is systemic. From DC/Wall St to Corporate Board Rooms, the entire system is now effectively acting in a 3rd world banana fashion

.