Two top Equifax executives step down Friday after massive data breach

Equifax Corp. said late Friday that two of its top executives are retiring in the wake of the embattled Atlanta company’s recent disclosure that hackers got away with sensitive information, including Social Security numbers, on 143 million people.

The company, which is one of the nation’s three key credit-tracking agencies, said its chief information officer and chief security officer are retiring, apparently immediately.

The company said Mark Rohrwasser has been appointed interim chief information officer. Rohrwasser joined Equifax in 2016 and has led Equifax’s International IT operations since that time, the company said. Russ Ayres has been appointed interim chief security officer, the company said.

Equifax did not name the retiring executives in a press release updating its review of the recent security breach, but according to the company’s web site, David Webb was previously listed as the company’s chief information officer.

MarketWatch reported that Equifax’s former chief security officer is Susan Mauldin, and that she “has a bachelor’s degree and a master of fine arts degree in music composition from the University of Georgia,” but that her LinkedIn profile “lists no education related to technology or security.”

The MarketWatch story also said her profile had been “scrubbed from the internet.”

A check of the link listed in the story said Mauldin’s profile was not available.

Equifax has been under fire since it disclosed a little over a week ago that, between mid-may and the end of July, hackers obtained sensitive personal information on essentially most adults in the United States, including Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, dates of birth and other information.

The company also stirred up wrath when it disclosed that three top executives, including its chief financial officer, sold a total of $1.8 million worth of Equifax stock after the company discover the data breach, but before it became public.

Equifax said none of those executives knew of the hack at the time they sold the stock. None of those executives were among the ones who stepped down Friday.

The company now faces dozens of lawsuits, at least two hearings by Congressional committees looking into the incident, and investigations by a number of state and federal agencies.

Consumers have swamped Equifax's phone lines and online site after the company said it would allow people to freeze their credit profiles. 

Meanwhile, Equifax's shares have plunged almost 37 percent since the data breach was disclosed on Sept. 7, wiping out $6.5 billion of the company's market value. The company's shares dropped almost 4 percent Friday, closing at $92.98 per share.

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