Panos Kakoullis succeeds Alan Middleton as CEO of PA Consulting

14 February 2020 3 min. read
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PA Consulting has selected its new Chief Executive Officer, as incumbent Alan Middleton prepares to step down from the role after 13 years in charge. Panos Kakoullis will assume the position after a year-long transition period, having previously led the global auditing wing of Deloitte.

Founded in 1943, British-origin PA Consulting now has 3,000 experts across Europe and the United States. The innovation-focused consultancy works to support clients in strategy, operations, product design and engineering, digital, AI and analytics, and cybersecurity, among other areas.

PA has booked strong growth in recent years, following its securing of private equity investment from the Carlyle Group in 2015. 2020 represents a potential crossroads, however. Two years after Marcus Agius – the Chairman who championed Carlyle’s investment in the firm – stepped down, the group is reportedly exploring the possibility of exiting its PA stake. The move would be in-keeping with a trend in private equity of investors exiting after four to six years, capitalising on the value they add to a firm.

Panos Kakoullis succeeds Alan Middleton as CEO of PA Consulting

As PA prepares for the challenges of a new decade, however the matter of its ownership is resolved, it has selected Panos Kakoullis as its new Chief Executive Officer to help chart a course forward. Alan Middleton – the firm’s incumbent CEO who has held the role for 13 years – will spend the duration of 2020 working with his successor to ensure a smooth transition, before moving to support the firm in an advisory capacity.

Outgoing CEO Middleton said of the news, “PA has a clear purpose and is perfectly positioned to accelerate its growth and success, as we continue our journey of bringing ingenuity to life for our clients and our people. I'm delighted to welcome Panos to PA. His wealth of industry experience, track-record of leading within professional services, skills in client and relationship development, and experience of managing complex global operations will make him a great leader for PA. I’m looking forward to working alongside Panos as we embark on the next phase of our ambitious growth plan.”

CEO-Elect Kakoullis has over 30 years industry experience with Deloitte, where he most recently served as Managing Director in the firm’s global audit and assurance business. A year ago, Kakoullis was reportedly part of the race to replace David Sproul as North West Europe CEO. According to sources close to the story, Kakoullis narrowly missed out on the role, due to his close association with the audit side of operations – with the Big Four’s accounting wings having encountered increasing hostility in the UK in the wake of a plethora of scandals through 2018 in particular.

Commenting on his new chapter with PA, Kakoullis said, “I’m really excited to be joining PA Consulting at such a pivotal time. PA occupies a unique place in the market with its exceptional record of delivering smart, world changing innovation for its clients for over 75 years. I’m looking forward to working with Alan and our people to sustain this outstanding record and to further enhance PA’s reputation for bringing ingenuity to life for our clients and for society as a whole.”