Yahoo’s former CEO Marissa Mayer forced to testify to Congress, after multiple refusals: report

The fall of Yahoo continues to reverberate, with its former CEO Marissa Mayer getting called onto the Congressional carpet to explain what went wrong in the company that allowed hackers to steal personal data from all three billion Yahoo user accounts. Mayer, according to a new report, had refused to appear before Congress, but was forced by a subpoena.

She’s scheduled to testify Nov. 8 at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing titled, “Protecting Consumers in the Era of Major Data Breaches.”

Yahoo, before it was bought by Verizon for $4.5 billion in June, announced last year that at least half a billion user accounts had been accessed in a data breach. Then Yahoo announced that there had been another hack, affecting more than a billion accounts. That wasn’t the end of it. In October, Verizon in a regulatory filing revealed that the hack of more than a billion accounts was actually a hack of three billion — every single Yahoo account in the world had been breached.

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In October, Mayer was hit with a subpoena to compel her to give testimony to the Commerce Committee, about the 2013 three-billion-account breach, according to The Hill.

“The committee issued the subpoena on Oct. 25 after Mayer declined multiple requests to testify voluntarily, even after being threatened with legal action,” The Hill reported Nov. 7.

“Following the subpoena order, Mayer’s representative told the committee that she would comply and testify before the committee.”

A representative for Mayer disputed that description of the situation, and said she was appearing voluntarily.

“According to her spokesperson, there was a back and forth with Mayer’s representatives and the committee in which she stressed that she was not the best witness for the most recent 2017 disclosure of the 2013 breach in which 3 billion Yahoo accounts were compromised,” according to The Hill.

“After it was confirmed that a representative from Verizon would also testify, Mayer agreed to appear; however, the subpoena had already been issued at this point.”

The committee’s chairman, Republican Sen. John Thune, had previously criticized Yahoo after Verizon revealed the true scale of the hack.

“After a breach, affected consumers expect organizations that failed to safeguard sensitive information to be forthcoming about potential risks and explain how they plan to meet their obligations to mitigate damage that may not be known for months or years,” Thune said in October.

In late 2016, Yahoo in a regulatory filing had revealed that the company had known in 2014 about the hack of at least a half billion accounts, but did not reveal it to the public or investors until 2016. Mayer, who led the firm during the data breaches, was to receive a $23 million golden parachute after leaving Yahoo.

The Nov. 8 hearing is also to feature Richard Smith, former CEO of Equifax, the credit reporting agency that allowed criminal hackers to steal extremely private personal data from up to 145.5 million Americans.


Photo: Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in 2015 (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)


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  • Jack Howard

    LOCK HER UP!!!!!!!!!……LOCK HER UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….LOCK HER UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!