Another Big 4 Firm Sticks It to Women

[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.

David Larocca

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]

Related article:

Deloitte Australia CEO Resigns, Says Leading Firm Through Pandemic ‘Has Come At Some Personal Cost’

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20 Comments

  1. What an idiotically titled collection of words in a random order… still, what do you expect from someone like that…

  2. “sticks it to women” – Do you have any evidence that the person promoted wasn’t just better suited for the job?

    Maybe we should see more articles written by female journalists, Jason, how about resigning so we can see that happen? Or are you only pro women when it comes to other people’s career

  3. Maybe he was best for the job? Maybe we should promote based on merit, not sex or race?

  4. Sticks it to me women? Just because one isn’t CEO? A bit entitled, are you?

    When I was working for EY I received a message saying “55% of our management is women and 60% of newly promoted management is women. Go equality!”

    I kept wondering, for a company that’s supposed to be good with numbers, when they will realize what percentage equality translates into.

    That said, equality is for chances, not for outcomes.

    As long as you can’t explain why even women Uber drivers make less.than men (obviously the app pays them regardless of gender), you aren’t showing any understanding of economics or the so-called gender disparity.

  5. This is a completely misleading headline and the author and editors should be ashamed of themselves. Nothing here “sticks it to women”. Larocca sounds like a qualified and logical candidate to take as ceo. Just because he is a man does not mean they are acting against women, it is okay to have male leadership too. Instead of focusing on identifying factors like gender, why don’t you look beyond to just actual qualifications? That would be true equality. I hope you have the foresight to edit this headline because it is absolute garbage.

  6. This article’s content states nothing that backs up the headline regarding “sticking to to women”. Was there a female in the running for the job who was passed over? Write responsibly or change your headline!

  7. At least he isn’t an old white dude? Way to be ageist, racist, and sexiest all in 8 words. How is this garbage even allowed on this site?

  8. “At least Larocca isn’t an old white dude, like most Big 4 CEOs”

    This is outright racist and sexist. Way to go Jason, no more news tips for you. This is some shameful shit.

  9. Terribly researched article and misguided attempt at causing friction through feminism. Give a woman a job just because she’s a woman? Women don’t want your pity mate. You are a disgrace. And Cindy Hook is CEO of deloitte Asian pacific so research before you make dumb articles.

  10. What a pathetic piece of … click-bait. Sometimes you guys hit the nail on the head. This time you hit your thumb.

  11. Change takes time in a field that was historically male dominated. (what was the gender split when the CEOs started?) To name two firms with senior women.

    KPMG UK has a woman chair of the board and a woman interim CEO amongst other senior positions occupied by women.

    KPMG Canada has a woman deputy chair of the board and other senior positions occupied by women.

  12. I agreed with all the comments bashing the author. I might add that it is this distortion of facts to feed the PC agenda that infuriates the ultra right that causes divisiveness. So the far right does away with all facts . A very bad trend destroying the country. Please stop it at once!

  13. I see no support for the core claim. Coverage of non-issues like these only serve to distract from real issues. I am sure there is an individual who was passed over for promotion somewhere unjustly. Tell that story. Until then, this is simply divisive and unsubstantiated.

  14. As a woman, I am greatly offended by this author’s sexism. How does GC allow this supremacist in its platform?

  15. This is such a poorly written article that doesn’t help the cause for women in the work place. You (the author) provides no reasoning of why a women should have taken this role. Was there a woman worthy of the role that was overlooked? You (the author) merely make no more of a statement than to say a women deserves this role because there are no women in this role. How is an article like this suppose to help the push for gender or even race equity? Is this really what our society has become?

    Do you realize yes although EY as a firm can do so much more.. how much they have done to change it? Do you know of the Women Fast Forward program? Entrepreneurial Winning Women? Or all the senior women partners that have taken a collateral role to advance women in the corporate sector? This article is the worst journalism I’ve ever seen.

  16. Deloitte also has Janet Foutty as US Chair of the Board and Sharon Thorne as the Global Chair.

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