Desjardins COO and IT lead lose jobs over data breach

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Canadian credit co-operative Desjardins has sacked its COO and IT EVP in the wake of a data breach in June that exposed the accounts of 2.9 million customers.

Denis Berthiaume who held the position of senior EVP and chief operating officer of Desjardins has been replaced by chief financial officer Réal Bellemare, who will also act as interim head of IT following the departure of current incumbent Chadi Habib.

In announcing the restructuring, Desjardins group president and CEO Guy Cormier, says: "Trust between a president and their management committee is essential. In light of the events of the last few months, I've decided changes must be made to our senior management team."

Desjardins in August set aside C$70 million in expenses to cover second quarter costs after a rogue employee stole and disseminated the personal information of more than 2.9 million members. The stolen data includes first and last name, date of birth, social insurance number, address, phone number, email address and details about individual banking habits and Desjardins products.

As part of his new duties, Bellemare has been put in charge of forming a group information security office, which will work across business lines to institute an integrated cross-sector security and reporting strategy.