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Is Cathy Engelbert’s Time Almost Up As Deloitte CEO?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Deloitte LLP partners were told in an email that Cathy Engelbert has not been renominated for a second four-year term as CEO of the Big 4 firm.

The Journal wrote:

Ms. Engelbert, the first woman to run one of the Big Four firms in the U.S., is three-plus years into a four-year term as Deloitte’s CEO. But Deloitte’s U.S. partners were told she wasn’t being renominated for a second term at this time as the firm begins its every-four-years CEO-election process.

The announcement allegedly stunned and upset Deloitte employees because an explanation wasn’t given, the New York Business Journal wrote, citing the Wall Street Journal article.

But Accounting Today noted that there’s still a possibility that Engelbert could receive a second term, even though she wasn’t renominated:

“Our partnership has a longstanding succession process that is conducted every four years,” said a statement forwarded by Deloitte spokesperson Jonathan Gandal. “We are in the early, board-nominating committee stage of that process, which will include input from our partners, principals and managing directors and culminate with a formal leadership election in early 2019. We will provide an update at that time.”

Engelbert joined Deloitte in 1986 and has been the firm’s CEO since March 2015.  She was the first female CEO of a Big 4 firm in the United States. A few month later, Lynne Doughtie took the helm of KPMG US LLP.

Before becoming CEO, Engelbert was chairman and CEO of Deloitte & Touche LLP, leading the audit practice.

In an interview with Forbes this past April, Engelbert said she didn’t know what her post-Deloitte future had in store:

[B]ut she has some ideas, ranging from serving on boards to mentoring emerging leaders. “What I’ve learned is life is not linear,” she says. “Your career is not linear, and the things you’re going to do are not linear.”

Her post-Deloitte future may be coming sooner than she thought. We’ll keep this article updated as we know more.