September 21, 2019

Report: Deloitte’s Head of Audit Is Frontrunner to Succeed Cathy Engelbert as CEO

It has now become apparent that Cathy Engelbert won’t be serving a second four-year term as CEO of Deloitte.

Joseph Ucuzoglu

Michael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 15 that Joseph Ucuzoglu, chairman and CEO of Deloitte’s audit practice, Deloitte & Touche, was nominated by the firm’s board of directors to succeed Engelbert once her current term ends next year.

In addition, Janet Foutty, chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting, is the leading candidate to replace Mike Fucci as Deloitte’s U.S. chairman, the article states.

Ucuzoglu’s and Foutty’s nominations are subject to ratification in a vote by Deloitte’s partners and principals in early 2019.

In an email to partners on Dec. 14, Fucci wrote that the board believes Ucuzoglu and Foutty are “the most qualified and best prepared candidates” to lead Deloitte, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Ucuzoglu succeeded Engelbert as chairman and CEO of Deloitte & Touche in March 2015, after Engelbert was promoted to lead Deloitte, becoming the first woman CEO of a Big 4 firm in the U.S.

Janet Foutty

Foutty, a 28-year veteran at Deloitte, was named Deloitte Consulting’s first female CEO in December 2015. If elected, she would replace Fucci as Deloitte chairman of the board, a title he has held since March 2015.

The Wall Street Journal reported in late June that Deloitte’s board decided not to renominate Engelbert for another term as CEO, a move that stunned Deloitte partners.

Rapoport noted that up until last week, Engelbert still had a chance to remain CEO as part of Deloitte’s CEO-selection process:

In the email, Mr. Fucci said write-in candidates were put forth for the board to consider, but he didn’t say whether Ms. Engelbert was among them.

Like the rest of the Big Four, Deloitte is a private partnership that elects its CEOs for fixed terms. In a statement, the firm said one-term CEOs “have been our norm for the past two decades.”

Deloitte is the second Big 4 firm in the U.S. that will have a new CEO in 2019. Mark Weinberger announced earlier this month that he is stepping down as EY global chairman and CEO effective June 30. Going Concern has learned that Carmine Di Sibio, EY’s global managing partner for client service since 2013, is the leading candidate to succeed Weinberger.

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