Equifax CEO Richard Smith has resigned after the company’s embarrassing data breach and botched response.
The credit reporting bureau announced Smith’s sudden retirement on Tuesday, three weeks after it disclosed that the hack had compromised the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans.
Smith, 57, had been CEO for 12 years. His retirement is 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,” Smith said in a statement.
The company still faces an investigation from the Federal Trade Commission and a hearing before Congress next week.
Equifax is one three major companies that track the credit histories of almost all Americans and sell the information to banks, credit card companies and other clients.
The breach left its customers — who never signed up for the service in the first place — feeling helpless, and the company’s response made things worse.