Deloitte Australia has per 1 February 2015 appointed Cindy Hook as its new Chief Executive Officer. It is the first time in history that a Big Four firm in the country is headed by a woman.
The accounting and consulting world is traditionally a male dominated domain, in particular in the top ranks. In Australia, Deloitte has now taken the lead in diversity, and appointed Cindy Hook as its new CEO. Hook has been with Deloitte Australia since 2009, joining the firm from Deloitte US, and has spent the past five years in several executive and leadership roles. Prior to relocating to Australia, Hook was based at Deloitte’s San Francisco practice for 23 years and has been a Deloitte Partner since 1998.
In her current role, Hook is National Managing Partner of Assurance and Advisory, a job which she according to Deloitte Chairman Keith Jones fulfilled in an “outstanding” manner. “Cindy is an exceptional leader. Her track record in transforming our audit practice has been extraordinary,” comments Jones, adding: “Under her leadership, Deloitte increased its share of listed company audits, was recognised as the Audit Firm of the Year in the 2013/14 Financial Review CFO Awards, while also winning an Australian International Design Award for audit services, a first for a professional services firm.”
“I am honoured and excited to have been selected to lead this wonderful firm,” says Hook on her appointment. She will however be tasked with a tough challenge – under her predecessor Giam Swiegers, who led the firm for 12 years, Deloitte moved from a distant fourth in the Big Four rankings to number two in 2014. Hook is confident though, stating: “I am determined to continue Deloitte’s momentum based on our differentiated offering, which is resonating so strongly in the market. My mission is to lead Deloitte to even greater things.”
The other Big Four firms in Australia are led by men. KPMG Australia is since July 2013 headed by Gary Wingrove, Luke Sayers is the CEO of PwC Australia, while EY is headed by Rob McLeod, who was promoted to Managing Partner and CEO in July 2010.
Recently, Grant Thornton UK appointed Sacha Romanovitch as its first female CEO in the country.