Noah Berger | Bloomberg News | Getty Images
Equifax CEO Richard F. Smith speaks with Bloomberg News reporters on Thursday, March 15, 2007.
The abrupt resignation of Equifax CEO Richard Smith on Tuesday is a smart move for the credit-report service company, according to one Wall Street firm.
“We believe the immediate retirement is a political positive for the company,” Cowen financial services policy analyst Jaret Seiberg wrote in a note to clients Tuesday.
“Our view has been that the political pressure for Smith’s departure was going to be overwhelming so that it would be better for the company to do this in advance of the hearings next week so it could get credit for the action rather than be perceived as bowing to congressional pressure.”
Smith is expected to testify on the company’s data breach before the House Energy and Senate Banking committees on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 respectively.
“These hearings will still be brutal with Democrats and Republicans on the attack. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is especially adept at using these hearings to paint the picture she wants of how a corporation acted,” he wrote. “So there is still a risk that Equifax is perceived as not doing enough.”
Equifax shares fell 1.7 percent in early trading on Tuesday. The company did not return an email asking for comment.