More Cybersecurity Troubles for Executives

Shareholders and regulators are increasingly holding executives’ feet to the fire when it comes to cybersecurity issues. In this latest news, a pension fund has initiated a class action suit against the Directors of delivery giant FedEx over a 2017 cybersecurity incident that occurred at TNT Express NV, a Netherlands-based company it had recently acquired. In the lawsuit, the pension fund argues that “Throughout the Class Period” from the date of the attack until December 18, 2018, when it finally revealed the extent of the damage on TNT’s business, “defendants continually assured investors about its recovery from the Cyberattack and any negative impact from the attack was minimal”. The lawsuit alleges that “[t]he full extent of TNT’s deteriorating business was [not] revealed to investors” until it reported a large profit miss for its second quarter ended Nov. 30, 2018, which was attributed in part by FedEx to a shift in TNT’s product mix to lower margin freight business following the cyberattack. The pension fund alleges that the news resulted in a 12.2% stock drop the next day. “As a result of Defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the Company’s common stock, Plaintiff and other Class members have suffered significant losses and damages”. The suit was filed on behalf of a class of investors who purchased the company’s common stock during the Sept. 19, 2017-Dec. 18, 2018 period.