Mark Begor, 59, is set to join Equifax on April 16, this year. His appointment at the help of the consumer credit rating agency comes at a time when the firm faces significant headwinds stemming from what is slated to be the most expensive hack in corporate history.
Consumer credit rating agency Equifax Inc has named Mark Begor, a former executive from General Electric, as its CEO in the wake of a massive data breach in the firm.
Begor’s appointment at the helm comes in the wake of Richard Smith quit as the firm’s CEO following heightened criticism over a cyber attack that could be the most expensive hack in corporate history.
Begor, 59, has worked for GE for 35 years in various capacities. Most recently he was the managing director of Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm.
Following the hack Equifax’s shares had fallen by 19%, after Begor’s appointment, they rose by 2.3% to $119.04.
Begor now faces the challenge of pulling up the tarnished image of the firm and win back consumer confidence.
The hacking attack, which outraged politicians and consumer advocates, saw top executives departing the firm and the government ordering probes into the incident.
Listing out his priorities, Begor said he would continue the “team’s efforts to communicate transparently and restore confidence with consumers, customers, shareholders, and policymakers.”
He went on to add, “Most critically, we will continue to invest in and strengthen our IT and data security”.
As per a filing, Begor will join Equifax on April 16 2018 with a base salary of $1.5 million.
In September 2017, Equifax had hackers had stolen personally identifiable information, including names, Social Security numbers, date of birth, addresses, driver’s license and credit card numbers, of its customers located in Canada, U.S., UK.
Earlier this month, as per Equifax’s estimate, costs related to the cyber attack could rise by $275 million in 2018. Costs related to the cyber attack have been weighing on its earnings, with the firm reporting a net insurance recoveries of $26.5 million related to the breach for the fourth quarter.
Equifax had appointed Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. as its interim CEO, who is set to retire in early 2019, said Equifax in a statement.