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February 5, 2023

Joe Echevarria Was a Hipster Before It Was Cool

Before he was CEO of Deloitte, talking about creating thousands of jobs, talking to both current and ex-Presidents, and having 1%er problems, Joe Echevarria admits that he had some "rough edges."

He group grew up in the Bronx, attended the University of Miami (aka Suntan U.) and didn't have the personal hygiene and fashion sense necessary for an ambitious young accountant:

I had a big mustache and bad hair. Also, I had two suits, one brown and the other green polyester.

Okay, so Joe E was a hipster before being a hipster was a thing. That's respectable. But it's not like he was trying to stick out like a sore thumb. No one had the heart to tell him that he needed a little makeover:

I had no social graces, either — I didn't know where the bread plate goes on a table, had never drunk coffee out of a cup with a saucer. It took me a long time to realize that these things matter in the corporate world. No one was willing to tell me.

This got Joe the "low potential" label at Haskins & Sells (you probably never heard of them) for a while, but luckily he had a mentor who was able to steer him in the right direction:

I had a boss, a Hispanic woman, who gave me good advice. Right before I left on vacation, she said to me, "You're coming back without that mustache. You will never make it into management if you look like the Frito Bandito." I had never realized that was holding me back.

And now he's shown all of you! 

However, the important question here is — WHERE ARE THE PICTURES? WE MUST HAVE THEM. If you dig these treasures up, email them to us immediately.

A CEO's tips for new grads … and everybody else [Fortune]

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