LandMark White CEO exits after data breach

Two directors step down from board

LandMark White’s chief executive officer has left the property valuation firm after a decade and a half with the company, as LMW comes to terms with the impact of a significant data breach.

The company announced yesterday that Chris Coonan would depart, effectively immediately. In addition former CFO Frank Hardiman and LMW co-founder Glen White have stepped down as non-executive directors of the ASX-listed company.

LMW said that Coonan “supported by the board, agrees that the changing nature of our business and market conditions – combined with major reputational challenges caused by the recent cyber-attack – has changed the requirements for this role and the executive leadership of LMW.”

“LMW is now recovering from a significant challenge to our business,” the statement from the company said. “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.”

The managing director of Taylor Byrne, Timothy Rabbitt, has been appointed acting CEO for LMW. (LMW last year announced a merger with Taylor Byrne.)

LMW last month entered an indefinite trading halt while it assessed the impact of the data breach, which led to client data being posted on a darkweb forum.

Australia’s major banks suspended their use of LMW in the wake of the breach.

The company said the breach occurred due to “an exposed programming interface” on one of its valuation platforms.

The company has acknowledged attempts to alert it to the problem as early as December 2018.

“We confirm that LandMark White has now taken steps to contact all of its corporate clients to inform them of this incident, which includes Australia's banks and financial institutions, government housing organisations, and corporate clients,” the company said in an update on the breach released earlier this week.

“LandMark White has also taken steps to contact all of its individual customers who sought a property valuation directly from us and who we hold contact information for.”

The company indicated that anyone who had sought a property valuation from the firm between 4 January 2011 and 23 January 2019 and had not received a notice about the incident should contact LMW or their lender.

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