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KPMG names first female leaders as chair departs over ‘stop moaning’ comments

Earlier this week, KPMG confirmed that Michael was stepping down from his role pending an investigation into controversial comments he made during a virtual meeting

KPMG has promoted its first female leaders in its 150-year history after confirming the resignation of Bill Michael as chairman.

Bina Mehta, a UK board member, will now assume the vacant chairman role following his departure at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Mary O’Connor, the firm’s head of clients and markets, will take over his executive responsibilities as senior partner.

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Earlier this week, KPMG confirmed that Michael was stepping down from his role pending an investigation into controversial comments he made during a virtual meeting with staff last week.

Michael apologised for telling consultants to “stop moaning” during a discussion about the impact of the pandemic on their working lives.

In a statement, he said: “I love the firm and I am truly sorry that my words have caused hurt amongst my colleagues and for the impact the events of this week have had on them. In light of that, I regard my position as untenable and so I have decided to leave the firm.

“It has been a privilege to have acted as chair of KPMG. I feel hugely proud of all our people and the things they have achieved, particularly during these very challenging times.”

KPMG noted it will undertake a leadership election in “due course”.

In a statement released today, Mehta said: “Bill has made a huge contribution to our firm over the last thirty years, especially over the last three years as chairman, and we wish him all the best for the future.”

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