Last night we were tipped off about a major announcement happening at EY this week, and we have received official confirmation of said announcement today by the firm: Mark Weinberger is stepping down as global chairman and CEO effective June 30, 2019.
EY confirmed what our source told us, that Weinberger told the firm’s leadership this morning about his intentions to retire. EY’s Global Executive Board was recently told that Weinberger was stepping down.
Our source told us that key clients were originally expected to be notified tomorrow and EY employees were to be told on Wednesday, but that timeline was hastened by us and other media outlets receiving the news before the firm was ready to make an official announcement.
That official EY announcement on Weinberger stepping down was released this afternoon, where you can read all about his many accomplishments.
In a message that Weinberger sent to employees today, which was obtained by Going Concern, he said:
Today, I am announcing my decision to step down as Global Chairman and CEO, effective 30 June 2019. Being your Global Chairman and CEO has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I will always be appreciative of the time I have had in this role.
EY and indeed the world has gone through tremendous changes during my tenure and I am proud and humbled by the opportunity I’ve had to play a leadership role in helping to navigate those changes. When I was elected Global Chairman and CEO in January 2012, we had a great team come together to develop a comprehensive strategy, which would take us through the turbulent and disruptive times we knew would be ahead of us. That strategy, Vision 2020, has served us exceedingly well, giving us a clear purpose, ambition and direction. Our commitment to Vision 2020 remains steadfast. And the Vision 2020+ transformative elements of our strategy will propel us forward, providing value to our clients and exciting opportunities for our people. Stepping down at the beginning of our financial year 2020 seems like the appropriate moment.
There is so much we’ve accomplished together: market-leading growth, improving audit quality, driving cutting-edge innovation, building our brand, engaging and empowering our people, serving and enhancing our communities, and improving our diversity and inclusion. All of this has contributed to our role in Building a better working world. I know there is an even brighter future for EY and I’m excited to see what will be shepherded in by the next generation of exceptional EY leaders. I have great confidence in the extraordinary talent that extends across our organization.
I am sincerely grateful to each and every one of our now 270,000 people and countless alumni around the world – the success of EY has always come down to our people. Individually and collectively we have driven EY’s accomplishments. The best part of being Global Chairman and CEO, and what I will miss the most, is traveling around the world to meet with our people. I am amazed and humbled by the everyday acts of Building a better working world that I was privileged to see firsthand.
EY is a special place. We all work hard, and of course, we make tremendous sacrifices. Some days are better than others. We win some, we lose others. What is important is that we continue to grow and improve. I’ve learned that it’s not just what we accomplish, but how we accomplish things, and those we meet along the way that matter most. I have never taken for granted the incredible talent and generosity of the people I have traveled this journey with. And I have never lost sight of the significance we place on our commitment to clients, regulators, each other and the capital markets we serve. I have grown immeasurably – personally and professionally – since becoming a member of the EY family. I firmly believe that whenever you join EY, however long you stay, the exceptional experience lasts a lifetime. I know it will for me.
I am grateful for the distinct honor of serving on the Global Executive (GE) for the past 10 years, and the Americas Board for the preceding five years. I am thankful for the amazing teams I have worked with and the clients I have been able to help. I have had the privilege of joining EY four times over my career, leaving to work for two U.S. Presidents, in the U.S. Senate and to fulfill my entrepreneurial spirit by starting my own business. While I left the organization, I never left the people. The friends and mentors I have cultivated at EY have always been with me and always will be.
I would like to thank my family for their support not only in this decision but also throughout my career – both inside and outside of EY. No matter what role I had, Nancy and our kids have supported me and reminded me who I am and where I came from. For this, I will be forever grateful. And a special thank you to my longtime colleague Peggy Pope, who, among many other things, has always made my day brighter among insatiable demands and made sure I kept my life in balance by scheduling me not only at every boardroom table but also at home so I could be at the dinner table.
I will continue to serve in my current role through the end of this fiscal year and plan to retire from EY at the end of calendar year 2019. I am making the announcement now so that we can begin the process of selecting a new Global Chairman and CEO. The GE will begin the soundings process and will then nominate the next Global Chairman and CEO, and the Global Governance Council will ultimately review and approve the GE’s nominee. It is expected that the process will run through the end of this calendar year, with our new Chairman and CEO-elect announced in January 2019. More information will of course follow.
I intend to spend the next 12 months focused on ensuring a smooth transition for my successor and continuing to serve our clients, partners, and people across the world.
As always, a heartfelt thank you for what you do for us each and every day.
EY Global Chairman and CEO
It is expected that Carmine Di Sibio, EY’s global managing partner for client service since 2013, will be elected as the firm’s next global chairman, according to our source. But EY told Going Concern that is speculation at this point.
Di Sibio has yet to respond to an email from Going Concern requesting comment.
After Weinberger leaves office, he will stay on with EY through Dec. 31, 2019, in a chairman emeritus role.
Reasons for the timing of Weinberger stepping down as global chairman and CEO are “not totally clear,” the source said, but we were told that “it is not to take another private sector job, return to government service, or academia.”
Weinberger reportedly believes he has accomplished the goals he set out in EY’s Vision 2020 plan six years ago, and “that it is time to let someone else take the reigns,” according to our source. The plan’s objective was to make EY the leading global professional services firm by 2020, and the firm had the ambitious goal of being a “US$50 billion distinctive professional services organization.”
Well, that goal has yet to be reached, as EY reported total global revenues of $34.8 billion in fiscal year 2018.
Other “ambitions” included:
- We will have the best brand. (I guess, if you like black and yellow.)
- We will be the most favored employer.
- We will be No. 1 or No. 2 in market share in our chosen services.
- We will have leading growth and competitive earnings sufficient to attract and retain world-class talent.
- We will have positive and strong relationships with our stakeholders.
Our source said Weinberger has denied that the reason he is stepping down is because of the recent sexual harassment allegations made by former female EY partners against the firm.
Last April, former partner Jessica Casucci filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing fellow partner John Martinkat of sexually assaulting her in front of two other male partners in a hotel bar in Orlando while they were on a business trip in 2015.
After the encounter, Martinkat continued the harassment with calls, texts, and emails asking Casucci to come to his hotel room to have sex.
Casucci and EY reached a settlement in May. As part of the settlement, Casucci agreed to leave the firm. Monetary terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Martinkat was eventually fired by EY.
Then on Sept. 24, another former partner, Karen Ward, filed a complaint with the EEOC, accusing the firm of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation.
In her complaint, Ward alleges that her first supervisor at EY, principal Michael McNamara, made lewd comments about her breasts, frequently suggested that she accompany him to strip clubs, texted her at 2 a.m. while on a work trip asking her to meet him for drinks, and regularly used offensive language around her.
McNamara was fired by EY in 2015.
Weinberger, who joined EY in 1987, was elected as global chairman and CEO in January 2012 and officially took over the seat after Jim Turley retired in June 2013.
Those of you at EY who are hearing some chatter about this today, please let us know by emailing [email protected] or calling the GC tipline at 202-505-8885.