Earlier today, Richard F. Smith announced he will be "stepping down" as the Chairman and CEO of Equifax. This change comes after the company's massive data breach - historically, one of the largest hacks anywhere (143 million accounts). The fifty-seven year-old will not be taking a bonus. He will be staying on for three months as an "unpaid consultant" (a common MO in order to help replacements get "up to speed").
Equifax has come under significant criticism for multiple issues related to this failure of cybersecurity: their poor security (e.g., hiring a music major, Susan Mauldin, as Chief Security Officer), delaying informing the public of the breach for six weeks, the alleged selling of stock by several high-level executives prior to the disclosing the hack, and Equifax's attempt to make a profit from those seeking to protect their credit in the wake of the company's failures.
The above image of Richard F. Smith, and the close-up below, shows a classic fear response.
The most striking signal are his eyes. Specifically, his upper and lower eyelids are opened very widely - much wider than baseline. While it is common for people to deliberately open their eyes very widely for effect - such affectations are performed with the aid of the forehead muscles. But Smith's forehead is NOT contracted - his slight wrinkles are passive (normal for age) and not indicative of muscular contraction of the forehead muscles. This "Eyes Wide Open" display - together with a relaxed forehead, and his other facial displays, is an absolute classic fear expresssion.
Note also Mr. Smith's nostrils - they are mild-moderately flared. There's also accompanying mild tension in his "mustache area".
Chin-holding, when taken in isolation does not indicate fear - however, when it's displayed as part of a cluster with one's eyes widely opened, relaxed forehead, tension in the mustache area, and nostril flaring - such chin-holding is a "fear amplifier". Indeed, Smith's psyche very much wants to cover his mouth as part of his fear manifestation - but he's suppressing this action (barely).
Summary: Richard F. Smith, who announced his "retirement" from Equifax today, is displaying significant trepidation in this photo. If this image was taken after the hacking, his nonverbal behavior would strongly suggest he fears personal repercussions. In that case, it would imply there may be important facts with the events related to the Equifax Hack which are yet to be revealed.
In the absence of nonverbal skills, anything described as "Crisis Management" significantly amplifies one's liability.
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