[Updated on March 25 with information on the leading CEO candidate at Deloitte Australia.]
You can cross EY Oceania off the list of potential landing spots for a woman CEO of a Big 4 firm, as David Larocca, currently the managing partner of EY Oceania’s Strategy and Transactions business, will take the reins from CEO Tony Johnson on July 1, the Australian Financial Review reported last week.
The ball’s in your court now, Deloitte Australia. Are you gonna give a chick a chance? Or are you gonna once again join the sausage party full of Big 4 CEOs?
Well, according to a report by AFR on March 25, the board of Deloitte Australia has recommended Adam Powick, the head of Deloitte Asia-Pacific’s consulting practice, to succeed Richard Deutsch as CEO, which should make all the pearl-clutchers in the comments section happy. A vote on Powick’s nomination is expected in four to five weeks, according to AFR.
And look who supposedly pushed hard for Powick to be a candidate for the soon-to-be empty seat? Deloitte Asia-Pacific CEO Cindy Hook. See, women Big 4 CEOs can get shit done. Too bad there are only two, by my count.
Hook and Kelly Grier, who is EY U.S. chair and managing partner and Americas managing partner, are the only two women who lead a Big 4 firm in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region, Canada, U.K., Mexico, France, and the U.S. And let’s not forget that men also are the global CEOs/chairmen of the Big 4. If I’m overlooking another woman, let me know. Until then, we’ve got two, or 6.8% of those possible Big 4 firm CEO seats.
At least Larocca isn’t an old white dude, like most Big 4 CEOs around the globe. The 47-year-old became a partner at EY in 2006 in the firm’s infrastructure advisory business before being promoted to the head the business in 2013 and was promoted again in 2016 to head the Strategy and Transactions business.
According to AFR, the firm’s Asia-Pacific Managing Partner Patrick Winter selected Larocca from a shortlist of potential candidates, after speaking with more than 100 partners.
Was there a qualified female candidate from EY Oceania who was interviewed? Maybe, but EY will never publicly say who the candidates were. If there was a qualified woman who could have been or maybe wanted to be CEO but wasn’t even given the chance to interview, that would be more egregious.
EY Oceania covers Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji.
EYers got an email last Thursday morning announcing who the new inhabitant of the corner office will be, according to AFR:
“We have great people at EY and I feel privileged to have been selected to lead our firm in Oceania,” Mr Larocca said in a statement.
“When I look ahead, the overwhelming feeling I have is one of excitement and optimism. I am incredibly proud of how we have navigated through COVID-19, supporting our people, clients and our business.
“We have the foundations to now play an important leading role through this next phase of change and growth as we look to deliver long-term value for our people, clients and society.”
Johnson, who has led EY in Australia and New Zealand since 2014, said on Jan. 27 that he will be stepping down as CEO and regional managing partner of EY in Oceania on June 30.
EY selects David Larocca as Oceania chief executive [Australian Financial Review]
Deloitte Australia board recommends new CEO [Australian Financial Review]