Deloitte US chief executive officer Joe Echevarria is to retire this month to pursue work in public service.
Elected in 2011, Echevarria will leave nine months before the end of his four-year mandate and will not be standing in the coming term.
Echevarria is 57 years old and has worked for Deloitte since 1978; previous to his role at chief executive officer, he held the post of US managing partner and chief operating officer.
Active over the past few months within organisations such as the Fix the Debt campaign and pro-business senior executive association Business Roundtables, Echevarria said in a statement he had "determined that this is the right time in my life to pursue my passion for public service."
He added: "Given my roots, inner-city Hispanic from the South Bronx – I am especially looking forward to continuing my role as co-chair with Magic Johnson on the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, which is focused on helping boys and young men of colour succeed."
Under Echevarria’s tenure, Deloitte grew from $11.9bn in 2011 to $13.9 billion in 2013, according to the firm’s latest available results.
Deloitte’s chairman, Punit Renjen praised Echevarria: "Joe has overseen a period of robust growth, helping to establish key client relationships and development opportunities for our people, and we are thankful for his years of service."
Among the challenges faced by Echevarria during his term as chief executive officer, in 2013 Deloitte agreed to pay a $10m settlement to the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) and received a one-year suspension from consulting banks in the State of New York, following allegations by the NYSDFS that the firm helped Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) hide $250bn worth of transactions from regulators between 2004 and 2007.
The firm’s chief financial officer Frank Friedman has been appointed interim chief executive, pending the outcome of Deloitte’s ongoing formal leadership election.
Renjen described Friedman as "an accomplished leader" and added: "The board and I have every confidence that Deloitte’s work on behalf of our clients will continue seamlessly throughout this transition process."
Friedman has worked for Deloitte for 34 years and was appointed chief financial officer in 2011. It is as yet unclear whether Friedman will hold the post of chief executive officer temporarily or whether he will be appointed for the coming four-year term following the firm’s leadership elections.
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