Equifax tapped longtime financial industry executive Mark Begor as its new permanent CEO, the company said Wednesday, as Equifax continues to try to recover from fallout surrounding the company’s massive data breach.
The 59-year-old Begor will take over from Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., who became interim CEO in September when Richard Smith stepped down from the post. Smith’s departure followed those of two other high-ranking executives who left in the wake of the hack, which exploited a software flaw that Equifax didn’t fix to expose Social Security numbers, birthdates and other personal data that provide the keys to identify theft.
Begor comes to Atlanta-based Equifax from the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, but he spent 35 years at General Electric before joining that firm. Begor ran GE’s retail credit card business from 2002 to 2011, which was eventually spun off into a separate company now known as Synchrony Financial. The company is one of the largest co-brand credit card issuers in the country, which is when a company pairs up with a bank to issue a credit card under its brand. He also is on the board of directors for FICO, the company behind the namesake credit score.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Begor said he believed his previous experience working at GE — which deals with both businesses and consumers — would help him in the role. Equifax is still dealing with the aftereffects of the breach. A total of about 147.9 million Americans have been impacted by Equifax’s data breach, which remains the largest exposure of personal information in history, and the company is under numerous state and federal investigations as well as dozens of class-action lawsuits.
“We didn’t have the right defenses in place, but we are investing in the business to protect this from ever happening again,”…