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LandMark White CEO resigns following data breach

The CEO of the ASX-listed property valuations company has resigned in lieu of “major reputational” damage caused by a cyber attack that exposed the private data of financial services customers.

In a statement issued by LandMark White (LMW) chairman Keith Perrett, the group has announced that its board has accepted the resignation of Chris Coonan as CEO, effective immediately.

According to Mr Perrett, the former CEO has departed in mutual agreement with the company amid “major reputational damage” caused by a recent cyber attack that exposed the private data of bank customers, including at both NAB and the Bank of Queensland (BOQ).

Mr Perrett also claimed that the decision was influenced by the “changing nature” of LandMark’s business and current market conditions, which have altered the stipulations of his role and executive leadership expectations.

However, the group’s board of directors has acknowledged Mr Coonan’s “tireless efforts” during his service as CEO at LMW since 2016.

In light of the CEO’s immediate resignation from LMW, Mr Perrett said: “LMW is now recovering from a significant challenge to our business. As such, the company’s senior leadership is acutely aware a renewed look at our operations and our culture is imperative to ensure we are a reliable supplier of first-class services to our valued clients.”

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Mr Perrett added that the board will be commencing a “robust” search for a new CEO and will advise details in due course.

During this transition, LMW announced that Timothy Rabbitt, managing director of Taylor Byrne, has been appointed as its acting chief executive.

LMW announced its merger with Taylor Byrne in October 2018.

Over the past few weeks, financial institutions, including BOQ and NAB, have issued statements to clients affected by the data breach.

BOQ told its network that data that was breached and disclosed was related “solely to property valuation services” undertaken by LMW – including customer names, contact information (including phone numbers and email addresses) and other details related to property evaluations.

NAB added that only some of its customers who had their properties valued through the major lender between 2012 and 2018 have been affected.

NAB expressed that the “full extent” of the breach is still being determined. NAB is reportedly working to determine which customers have been impacted and has said it will contact them directly.

BOQ announced in its most recent statement regarding the breach that “it is believed that only a small number of customers have been impacted”.

The big four bank added that while it investigates the data breach, it has suspended all use of LMW’s services.

As a precaution, NAB conducted a review after being made aware of the cyber attack and confirmed that there has been “no suspicious activity identified” in the aftermath of this breach.  

[Related: Bank warns of reported third-party data breach]

LandMark White CEO resigns following data breach
Chris Coonan
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