A couple weeks ago we acknowledged exiting EY Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger with a look back on some of his best moments as Benevolent Overlord of the Black and Yellow. Not sure if you heard but former Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert starts her new gig as WNBA commissioner today, giving us the perfect opportunity to do the same for her esteemed history as leader of the Green Dots. Because you know, equality or something.
Strangely, we don’t have that huge of an archive of Cathy Engelbert moments from which to draw this ranking. Maybe that’s a good thing when you compare her to, say, AICPA President, CEO, and champion watermelon seed spitter Barry Melancon, who has been ripped on around these parts to death. Man, when that guy finally retires we’re gonna have a field day.
Anyway. Let’s take a look back on some of the highlights from the tenure of our first-ever female Big 4 CEO.
That awkward robot thing
No discussion about C-Dawg’s time at Deloitte can be had without mentioning the anecdote she tells about her teenage son’s fear of robots taking his job some day. When most kids are alluding to having engaged in sexual relations with my mother via Overwatch team chat, her little man is thinking about the important things. As awkward as the story, or rather her constantly telling it, is, on the bright side at least she isn’t oversharing about her kid’s poop.
While some incoming CEOs like to start their tenure by sharing power quotes from Warren Buffett and establishing dominance, Cathy charmed cold, black hearts everywhere in early 2015 by admitting that she used to make up stories to leave work. Just like everyone else! Que relatable.
Cathy Engelbert, First of Her Name, Queen of the Green Dots
On her way out the door, Engelbert found herself an employee favorite on Glassdoor’s top CEO ranking, landing at #15 among 100 U.S. CEOs and #1 among other Big 4 top dogs. Suck it, Bob Moritz.
Putting her foot down on a firm expansion into law
Back in 2015 when Engelbert was set to take the wheel, she did an interview in which she was asked if Deloitte planned to move into law anytime soon. Back then, anti-Big 4 oligarchy drama was certainly a thing, though not nearly as heated as we’ve seen in recent years. Despite that, she didn’t mince words when insisting Deloitte wouldn’t — and couldn’t — strong-arm its way into the law space, at least here in the good ole U.S. of A. Why? Because it’s illegal, you dunce.
Smashing the glass ceiling
No list of Cathy Engelbert’s best moments would be complete without acknowledging how bad ass it is that she rocketed her way to the top at a spry 50 years old all while balancing marriage, family, and the pressures of Big 4 life. No woman had done so before her, which alone is one hell of an accomplishment. Although we may have poked a little fun at the firm for finally getting around to putting a woman on the throne, when you cut the cynicism and look at her time at the firm, she did a killer job opening the door for the women to come after her all while leading her firm to the top of all the lists that count.