Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
September 26, 2023

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

In an announcement that reportedly stunned Deloitte Australia partners and staff, CEO Richard Deutsch resigned today after spending two and a half years on the job, the Australian Financial Review reported.

“After a difficult and unprecedented year and following much personal reflection, today I announced my resignation as CEO,” Mr Deutsch told partners and staff in an all-firm email sent on Thursday afternoon.

“It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to lead this great firm. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved over the past two-and-a-half years. We have navigated the greatest health and economic crisis of our generation and secured the future of the business while continuing to serve our clients with distinction. But this period has come at some personal cost.”

He said the firm was now “extremely well-placed for the future” and that he believed that now “is time to hand over to a new CEO who will drive the firm into the next phase of Deloitte’s growth”.

He then thanked partners and staff for making Deloitte “the best professional services firm in Australia.”

Deutsch didn’t elaborate on the personal reasons that led to him stepping down with 18 months remaining in his four-year term.

During his tenure as CEO, Deloitte Australia increased its revenue to $2.5 billion in FY 2020, which makes Big D the second-largest Big 4 firm in Australia in terms of revenue behind PwC ($2.6 billion).

But AFR reported that “pressure from global and regional leadership to continue aggressively growing so it could overtake PwC as the largest consulting firm in the country is believed to have contributed to his decision.”

In addition, AFR noted:

Deloitte has been dogged by a continued partner exodus, emerging difficulties retaining and recruiting staff and a number of protracted and high-profile legal cases.

One of those legal cases involves a current audit partner, Colin Brown, who is suing Deloitte Australia for age discrimination. Brown is accusing the firm of unfairly forcing partners to retire once they turn 62 years old. Deloitte has admitted it has an “expectation” partners retire at 62 and a practice of discussing retirement in the months leading up to that, but the firm denies it forces them to leave.

AFR reported that the firm’s board will begin the process of searching for a new CEO which is expected to be from the Australian partnership with Deutsch remaining in the role until the CEO selection process is completed.

Deutsch is the second Big 4 CEO in Australia to quit since the start of 2021. Tony 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.

In a statement, Johnson said:

“While there is no fixed term limit, upon coming to the role I committed to give it my all for five years and then it would be best for EY, my family and me to pass the baton. Time has flown and I missed the five-year mark but am certain this is the right time for a change. The business is in a great position, with tremendous momentum and a strong and positive culture. I am very confident of the firm’s ongoing success given the quality of our people and clients and the depth of leadership within EY to take the business forward.”

During Johnson’s tenure as EY Australia CEO, the firm’s revenue has increased from $1.1 billion to more than $2.2 billion.

‘Personal cost’: Deloitte Australia CEO in shock early resignation [Australian Financial Review]

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.


  1. > But this period has come at some personal cost

    Fuck this guy.


    How do you think a A1 in a HCOL area feels working multiple engagements from their shitty studio apartment (which is not optimized for WFH) and with roommates, while firms holds layoffs (and if you’re EY, disguised as performance based terminations) over their head?!?

    What is it about partners that get so tone deaf when they get promoted? Seesh!

  2. (Potentially Rich) Partners, claiming Age discrimination …different story if it’s salaried employees lower than partner director rank who may not have all the bank balance to retire

Comments are closed.

Related articles

Deloitte University Is Getting Bigger Because God Forbid KPMG Have the Superior Brainwashing Compound

Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that groundbreaking on a “massive expansion” of the already massive Deloitte University campus in Westlake, Texas will begin in January. Deloitte’s been wanting to expand for a while but was waiting on Tarrant County commissioners to approve more than $5 million in tax breaks. “We certainly appreciate the great corporate […]

illustration of a chair with a box of someone's stuff and a "dismissed" sign

Layoff Watch ’23: Deloitte UK Cuts More Than 800 People Because Business is Slow and People Aren’t Quitting

Reported earlier today by Financial News, Deloitte UK is cutting approximately 3 percent of its workforce or more than 800 people. The cuts are concentrated in consulting, financial advisory, and risk advisory though a few audit and business services folks also got the axe. FN cites slowing demand in the second half of the year […]