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Equifax CEO Quits After Massive Data Breach

FILE - The offices of Equifax, one of three major consumer credit reporting companies in the U.S., offices are seen in Atlanta, Georgia, July 21, 2012. The company's CEO, Richard Smith, resigned Tuesday following a massive data breach.

Equifax CEO Richard Smith announced his sudden retirement Tuesday following a massive data breach at the credit reporting company earlier this year.

Smith and Equifax says they learned of the hack in late July but waited until September 7 to inform its customers about the incident, which may have further compromised the personal information of about 143 million Americans.

The federal government is investigating the company’s response to the hack and Congress will hold a hearing on the matter next week.

Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., an executive from the Asia Pacific division at Equifax, will serve as CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.

Equifax, one the largest credit reporting companies in the United States, said hackers were able to obtain names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses of more than 40 percent of the U.S. population.

The company said credit card numbers were also compromised for 209,000 U.S. consumers, as were credit dispute accounts for 182,000 people.

Smith served as CEO from 2005 until this week. His departure follows the abrupt retirement of Equifax's chief security officer Susan Mauldin and chief information officer Dave Webb.