Equifax has appointed former General Electric executive, Mark Begor, as their Chief Executive Officer. Begor will be taking over this position from Paulino de Rego Barros Jr. who was serving as the Interim CEO since September when Richard Smith stepped down from his post. Smith’s exit from the organization was followed by two other high-level executives who quit after the turbulence Equifax faced due to a massive customer data breach.
Most recently, Begor worked as a managing director at Warburg Pincus. He dedicated 35 years of his work life to General Electric in numerous positions, which also included working as a President and CEO of GE Energy management. At Equifax, Begor will also be joining the board, and his base salary will be $1.5 million. He will begin his tenure effective April 16.
“The team has made meaningful progress in the last several months to address a number of well-publicized issues while continuing to focus on new products and other issues,” added Begor. “I will prioritize continuing our team’s efforts to communicate transparently and restore confidence to consumers, customers, shareholders, and policymakers. Most critically, we will continue to invest in and strengthen our IT and data security,” he added.
On Sept 7, Equifax went public with information stating that a total of 147.9 million Americans had been impacted due to the massive data breach. Hackers stole personally identifiable information of US, UK, and Canadian customers, which included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and credit card numbers. Earlier this month, the company projected that the costs related to the breach could grow by $275 million this year.
Begor is going to have his hands full trying to repair the tarnished image of the company and win back their customers. The news of the breach resulted in a shadow-casting and outcry from the public. Politicians, consumer advocates, government probes, and some of the top executives quitting the organization were just some of the repercussions of this breach.
In a statement introducing Begor as the new CEO, Mark Feidler, chairman of Equifax’s board of directors, said, “He is a highly accomplished executive with a long track record of successful leadership across a variety of global industries relevant to our business.”