Equifax Names Mark Begor as CEOBy
Begor pledges to spend more on strengthening security measures
New CEO’s target compensation is $20 million for first year
Mark Begor, a managing director at Warburg Pincus LLC, will become chief executive officer at Equifax Inc. seven months after a massive data breach sent the credit bureau’s shares tumbling.
Begor, who previously ran one of the largest U.S. private-label credit-card issuers, will take over on April 16, Atlanta-based Equifax said Wednesday in a statement. Interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros will retire early next year and assist in the transition.
“He is a highly accomplished executive with a long track record of successful leadership across a variety of global industries relevant to our business,” Mark L. Feidler, chairman of the company’s board of directors, said in the statement.
Equifax has been shuffling top managers after disclosing last year that hackers were able to access the personal data of 145.5 million U.S. consumers. The firm also replaced its chief information and chief security officers in the wake of the breach, which has sparked more than 240 class-action lawsuits and more than 60 regulatory or governmental inquiries.
Shares of the company have struggled to recover since the breach as it spends more on security and information-technology upgrades. The firm also acknowledged that banking customers of its largest business are deferring new projects until Equifax proves it’s improved its security protocols.
Begor’s target compensation for his first year will be $20 million, according to a regulatory filing. The pay package includes a $1.5 million salary, target cash bonus of $1.5 million and equity awards valued at $7 million, which include performance shares, restricted stock and options. He’s also getting one-time equity awards of $10 million that won’t be covered under the company’s clawback policy, which governs the recoupment of incentive pay if there’s financial or reputational harm from an employee’s misconduct or oversight failures.
Equifax climbed 2.1 percent to $118.56 at 10:01 a.m. in New York. The stock has dropped 16 percent since Sept. 6, the day before the breach was disclosed, compared with the 6.4 percent advance of the S&P 500 Index.
Begor, 59, spent 35 years at General Electric Co., including a stint as head of the retail credit-card business, which is now known as Synchrony Financial. He’s also a member of Fair Isaac Corp.’s board, a post he plans to resign before taking over at Equifax, according to the statement.
“I will prioritize continuing our team’s efforts to communicate transparently and restore confidence with consumers,” Begor said in the statement. “And most critically, we will continue to invest in and strengthen our IT and data security."
— With assistance by Alicia Ritcey