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Deloitte Announces Joe Echevarria as New CEO, Punit Renjen Chairman

Deloitte has announced today that Joe Echevarria will become the new CEO and Punit Renjen (who is oddly well-coifed for a leader at Deloitte) the new Chairman Board of the firm effective June 1. None of this is really news to anyone that frequents this site since we reported who the candidates were back in February. Joe takes over for Barry Salzberg who will assume the global CEO position and Punit will assume the Chairman role from Sharon Allen who is retiring.

This officially marks the end of the Deloitte election process that we brought to light after a partner reached out to us over concerns that the process is seriously flawed (or in that partner’s words, “broken”). Whether or not the rumored poor turnout had any effect on the timing is not known but the results remain the same, much to the chagrin of many partners at the firm who share the frustration of a unrepresentative election process.

[caption id="attachment_29175" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Renjen"][/caption]

Both guys seem genuinely pleased with the result, “I am deeply honored to be elected by my partners and principals to be CEO of this great firm. As the largest professional services organization in the U.S., we have an obligation to lead,” said Echevarria. “Excellence in all of the professional services we provide constitutes the foundation of our success. As markets were shaken and major players disappeared overnight, we’ve made a clear choice to focus on superior performance, innovation and growth across all our practice areas. Great firms are growth firms.”

And Renjen, “This is a great privilege, and I deeply appreciate the partnership’s confidence in me,” he said. “I share Sharon Allen’s vision for Deloitte – to be the ‘Standard of Excellence.’ Setting this standard demands effective governance, transparency, accountability and uncompromised quality. I am committed to leading the board in providing valuable oversight and strategic guidance to management, and also to representing our exceptional organization and culture with external stakeholders.”

Congratulate your new leaders, green dots; these are the men you’ll be receiving a monstrous number of emails from for the next four years.

[via Deloitte]

Let’s All Give Jim Quigley a Warm Welcome to Twitter

We knew it was only a matter of time before Jim Quigley rounded up enough interns to run his Twitter account for him and it seems that day has finally come. While we won’t openly admit to hoping he immediately engaged in common Twitter faux pi like tweeting in all caps or speaking to others as if they could hear him without using the all important @, we’ve thoroughly scanned his account and can barely find anything to bag on.

It seems, however, that he’s merely pimping out the World Economic Forum and is really, really excited about it. So excited, in fact, that it’s been all he’s tweeted about in the less than two weeks he’s been sharing with us in 140 characters or less.

What he isn’t tweeting is how much his trip to Davos to hob-nob with the global elite might cost him. We of the working class, ticking and tying set might feel he could just as easily put his finger on the pulse of the economy by sitting down with any number of Deloitte’s 170,000 employees since, last we checked, the economy was people, not rich guys (and gals, it’s the 21st Century) hanging out in Switzerland.

We won’t say we’re disappointed because our standards are really low to begin with but he could have, you know, toned it down a notch.

Just how much does a trip to Davos cost a snazzy Big 4 CEO? Ask Andrew Ross Sorkin: A basic level Davos excursion will run you $71,000 for membership to the organization and ticket alone (that doesn’t include hotels, helicopters or red carpets strewn ahead of you). The “Industry Associate” level, which would get JQ behind the velvet rope to hang with other hot accounting and finance rockstars, runs $156,000. And if, say, Quigs wants to bring a buddy the “Industry Partner” level could run him around $301,000.

Well wait, it’s not fair to say he’s only tweeting about WEF, he did also throw some tweets about chicks in there. You know, for diversity’s sake.

Hey, it beats over-hashtagging I guess.

Deloitte Global CEO Jim Quigley Is Tweeting

Deloitte Global CEO Jim Quigley Is Tweeting

There goes the Twittersphere.

Jim Quigley has broken the Big 4 CEO cherry on Twitter (to our knowledge) and he decided to do it in honor of the World Economic Forum (aka: The annual CEO ego strokefest) in Davos, Switzerland that gets underway in less than two weeks. Above is Quig’s one and only tweet so far and it’s very CEO-ish. We’re not expecting anything of the Kaplan variety but cripes man, add some color. May we recommend our series of “Doing it Wrong” Twitter posts from our resident expert?

Anyhoo, here’s the video from the tweet:

Thoughts on the performance are welcome. And JQ should know that we know Twitter can have a slight learning curve, so we’ll save you the trouble: you can follow Going Concern here. Oh, and Adrienne will be writing a review, so tweet to impress.

[via TS]

Deloitte’s Sharon Allen Never Misses Date Night, Discovered Early on That She Wasn’t Meant to be a Car Hop

The L.A. Times ran a brief sit-down with Sharon Allen, the Deloitte Board Chairman (her preferred term) over the weekend and it has the typical clichéd whathaveyous about her background – education is important; her great-grandmother was an early role ght-talker, values are important, yada yada yada.

Anyway, despite those snoozy details, there are a few interesting bits to share including that she doesn’t live in New York (gasp), everyone in her entourage is in a different city and some profound insight into differences between her home state – Idaho – and her current state:

The former Midwesterner chooses to live in Pasadena instead of New York, where Deloitte maintains its headquarters. “California is quite different when you think that the whole state of Idaho has [1.5] million people,” Allen said [WOW!]. She’s lived in Southern California for years. Before being elected chairman, Allen was based in Los Angeles as Deloitte’s managing partner for the Pacific Southwest region. Technology and careful coordination allow Allen and other members of her team to live across the map: Her executive assistant is in Portland, Ore.; her chief of staff lives in New York; and her speechwriter is in Charlotte, N.C.

For now, let’s just say for the sake of argument that the head of the largest professional services firm on Earth can live somewhere other than New York. We realized that for a lot of you this is contrary to everything you stand for but apparently Deloitte is pulling it off.

As for her childhood, Sharon gave the more physical labor intensive and service industry path a shot but soon discovered that agriculture nor a career on roller skates were in her future:

She worked for a time on the farm as a kid and then as a car hop in high school, but said she lacked talent at both. “I learned very early that I wasn’t very good on the farm,” she said. “And as a car hop, I dumped an entire tray of soft drinks into someone’s car once.”

As for how she got hooked on accounting, it was like smack for her. One taste was all it took:

[H]er roommate was an accounting major and talked her into dipping a toe into the business world. “I was hooked from the time I took the first class,” she said. She switched her major to accounting soon after.

And she managed to resist the 1970s accounting firm boys’ club:

Allen was often the lone female in her accounting courses. The trend continued once she started at Touche Ross, a predecessor to Deloitte. Allen turned it to her advantage. “People found a way to recognize and notice me,” she said. “While being a woman in a predominantly male profession early in my career, it would have been easy to adjust my style and focus on doing stuff like the men did. I learned I could be successful by doing it my own way.”

Without more details, it’s difficult to determine what she means by “doing it my way.” It’s unlikely that they were asking her to pee standing up. Or that they expected her to go bald, like some people.

Now that she’s a bigwig at a Big 4 firm that has to jet all over the world doing…things, you might think it would be easy for her to forget where she came from. NOPE! No matter where she is, Sharon is always back in SoCal for Friday date night to make sure the man of the house isn’t just lying around, letting himself go while she’s out moving and shaking:

Friday date nights are sacred. No matter where Allen is in the world, she places top priority on flying home every week to spend time with her husband, Rich (they’ve been married for 38 years), who was also her high school sweetheart.

In other words, she’s heading back home to ensure that Richard chases off the freeloading friends and babes that are hanging out at the manse all week. Or maybe it’s love. Either way, it sounds like she runs a tight ship.

And no doubt, that obsession/love translated into something that helped SA become the highest ranking woman at a Big 4 firm. An impressive feat no matter where you stand. But frankly, from Deloitte’s perspective, she’s the most visible leader that’s not pulling a Costanza. You can’t put a price on that.

Accounting for her success [Los Angeles Times]

Jim Quigley Believes That ‘A Sustained Recovery Has Begun’

That’s what he told Fox Business Network anyway. He doesn’t stat it explicitly but Quigs is probably referring to his Big 4 and professional services brethren.

Not exactly sure why JQ thinks we aren’t headed for a double-dip after Team Jehovah gave the ‘fairly bad’ to ‘very bad’ outlook.

Is he still riding high on the biggest of the Big 4 news? Discuss.

Why Isn’t Deloitte Ranked Higher on DiversityInc’s Top 50 List?

What a relief. We were really concerned that we would get half way through March without hearing about a list of companies being good at something that included the Big 4. Fortunately, DiversityInc comes to our rescue today with their list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity for 2010.

Aaaand as you might exall present and accounted for, although some firms may wish to be higher(?). How does one determine success on these lists? Just being on it? Making the top ten? Is it an honor just to participate in the survey?

Speaking of the survey, the website describes the methodology so you can get an idea of how this particular jumble falls together. The survey is broken down into four areas:

CEO Commitment

Human Capital

Corporate and Organizational Communications

Supplier Diversity

Digging further, we found more details:

The survey consists of more than 200 empirical questions (no subjective or qualitative information), which have predetermined weightings. Ratios between key factors, such as demographics of managers compared with managers who received promotions, play a significant factor in determining point scores. Companies must score above average in all four areas to earn a spot on the list. CEO Commitment is the most heavily weighted area because if a company lacks visible leadership, its diversity-management efforts will fail to be a priority.

SO! While this explains some things, it certainly brings up more questions. Since we spend the majority of our day perusing the web for every instance of Big 4 CEOs simply breaking wind, we’d like to think that any “CEO Commitment” as it relates to diversity would be noticed by us or our team of monkeys that work around the clock.

That being said, we’d be hard pressed to find a bigger diversity go-getter than Deloitte’s CEO Barry Salzberg. The man is tirelessly pursuing diversity at every waking moment. Even after Deloitte announced its freshly minted Chief Diversity Officer, Bar gave a speech earlier this week on as part of the DiversityInc festivities demonstrating that he’s still on this.

So then, our question is, how does Ernst & Young rank 5th, PwC 6th, KPMG 15th and Deloitte bring up the rear at 25th?

Perhaps the other firms display diversity fliers with their CEOs mugs on them to serve as constant reminder to all employees of the diversity in their firm but if CEO commitment is measured by MSM talking points, how does anyone beat Barry Salzberg? The only thing we can think of is there is some sort of secret anti-male pattern baldness bias at DiversityInc that quietly knocks Deloitte down the list. Sure Dennis Nally is slowly going Costanza there but Moritz in the tighty-whities probably made up for it.

So the efforts of Deloitte’s diversity commitment are rewarded but did they get the recognition they deserved?

The Unveiling of the 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 [DiversityInc]
The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity [Full List]