You know how they always say accounting is a small world and you should take care not to burn bridges? Well Stephen Cahill, partner and head of Deloitte UK’s executive compensation practice, decided to say “fuck that and fuck you too” this past June when he went on a sexist, racist tirade in the company of about 30 Deloitte colleagues at a horse race event.
Financial Times reports that Deloitte UK staff were informed last week that Cahill, a 14-year veteran of the firm, will retire now that an internal investigation of the incident is complete.
Cahill attended the racecourse with a separate group of friends but joined the executive compensation team, as well as other Deloitte staff, towards the end of the day. By this point he was heavily inebriated and launched into a 30-minute drunken tirade that was sexist, racist and bullying, according to two eyewitnesses who requested anonymity.
His comments included an offensive remark about an ethnic minority employee, according to the eyewitnesses.
One of them said that Cahill “offended every collective group [of minorities]” with the rant. They added that their colleagues had thoroughly enjoyed the day at Ascot but that the outburst left many feeling “completely deflated”. Cahill called colleagues the following day to apologise and reported the incident to Deloitte.
FT spoke to two people who are familiar with Cahill — “a competitor and a Deloitte insider” they said — who described him as outspoken, jovial, and highly-regarded within his sector though sometimes he lacked a filter (no shit).
Apparently some at the firm are not happy with this outcome, suggesting that letting him retire is inappropriate for a person of his level at the firm who managed to deeply offend 30 people at once in the course of half on hour.
“Badging it as a retirement is not appropriate,” said one of the eyewitnesses. “Big companies have so much education and training on what is appropriate and taking a zero-tolerance approach . . . This does not feel like ‘zero tolerance’.”
The other eyewitness said they felt compelled to speak out about Deloitte’s handling of the matter given Cahill’s role in advising large listed companies on their diversity and inclusion targets. “This does not feel moral,” the person said.
FT does not give specifics on the rant, probably because none of it bears repeating.
Deloitte would not comment other to say “Stephen Cahill is retiring from Deloitte. We don’t have any comment on Stephen’s retirement.”