A special message to US and Canadian Ernst & Young alumni:We wanted to share with you the message below that was sent to all Ernst & Young people today.Jim Turley retires this week from his role as Chairman and CEO.Interviewed earlier this year for EY's Global review 2012, Jim said: "I feel privileged to have done this job for the past 12 years and to have worked for this great organization for the past 36."Jim's tenure was marked by huge change for our organization, our clients and the global economy. Throughout, he has led by example and his legacy – our global integration, our focus on quality and our values – provides a strong foundation for our future success.Over the past 12 years, Jim has been a familiar figure on the world stage and in the media, playing a prominent role at numerous conferences and events, such as the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, Switzerland, the Russia Foreign Investment Advisory Council, which he co-chaired, the Business Roundtable and International Business Leaders' Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai, and the Governing Board of the US Center for Audit Quality, which he chaired from 2007-2011. In 2010, he was also appointed to the US President's Export Council.Throughout his career, he has also worked with numerous civic, cultural and business organizations.Remarkable careerJim joined EY in Houston, Texas after graduating with bachelor's and master's degrees from Rice University, where he now serves on the board of trustees.From 1987 onwards, Jim served in a number of leadership roles, including US National Director of Client Services and Business Development, Managing Partner of our Upper Midwest Area and Metropolitan New York Area Managing Partner.In July 2001, Jim became Chairman, assuming the role of CEO two years later. It was a challenging time to take on the Chairman's role; in the months that followed, the world was rocked by the 9/11 terror attacks and the Enron and Worldcom scandals. Further challenges followed, including the 2008 financial crisis.Despite these challenges, under Jim's leadership our annual global revenues grew from US$10b to US$24.4b. We also established ourselves as the most globally integrated of the Big Four in mindset, actions and structure, and led the way with our investment in both new and emerging markets.Navigating changeJim steered us through changes in the accountancy profession, including the move from self-regulation to external oversight and the introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards in more than 100 countries.Throughout, Jim actively supported our commitment to enhance public trust in the quality of financial reporting – and encouraged dialog with key stakeholders worldwide on the many changes facing the world capital markets.For our people, Jim set a clear and strong tone, focusing on quality, integrity and professionalism. In an era when we doubled our workforce, he championed a strong people culture based on shared values. So it's no surprise that EY has consistently been recognized as a great place to work – for example, being ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For each year during Jim's tenure.Jim championed diversity and inclusiveness within EY and across business. His tenure saw numerous initiatives within EY and he became involved in external activities – for example, serving as Chairman of the Board of nonprofit organization Catalyst, which works to expand opportunities for women in business.Bright futureJim is optimistic about our future under Mark Weinberger's leadership. "I'm confident that Mark is a great choice to be the next Chairman and CEO, and I look forward to watching the next chapter of EY's story unfold," he said in the Global review 2012.Thank you, Jim, for everything you have done for our organization. We wish you continued success for your future.
I'm sure EY sent him off in style on Friday, which probably includes a gold watch, a gift card, or something, but there's no mention of any festivities in the internal message that was forwarded to us over the weekend:
That's nice, but JT will not be forgotten by us here at Going Concern for many different reasons, including:
1. The time he pissed off Chuck Norris.
2. That cringe-worthy story he told about the time ignored a bunch of women in a meeting.
3. When he showed up to Bloomberg wearing his snow boots.
4. He never tired of answering questions about Lehman Brothers.
And of course there are all kinds of other interesting things that you may or may not know about Jim Turley that are worth reflecting on today. I mean, the man has been immortalized in the greatest lyric ever uttered in the history of accounting-themed YouTube videos. He's like a one-man boy-band, he's so popular. That kind of status demands a worthy remembrance.
So, in order to best mark the occasion of Jim Turley leaving his post as a Big 4 CEO to move on to sitting in several more board of directors seats, here you go, Jimbo:
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