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May 31, 2009

Olson resigns from US watchdog

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) chairman Mark Olson is to stand down from the US accounting watchdog from 31 July 2009, having originally been appointed to serve until 2010.

The US Center of Audit Quality executive director Cindy Fornelli saluted Olson as a public servant of the first order and commended him for his dedication to quality audits.

“In view of the still challenging economic environment, we hope US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Mary Schapiro will move with all due haste to appoint chairman Olson’s permanent successor at the PCAOB,” Fornelli added.

In his resignation letter, Olson said the decision was entirely personal and reflected his desire at this time of his life to establish new priorities. During his time leading the audit oversight body, the PCAOB was involved with implementing a new standard on internal control over financial reporting and wrangling over co-operation between international oversight bodies.

Olson was named PCAOB chair by the SEC in July 2006. Prior to joining the PCAOB, he had most recently served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.

From 1988 until 1999, Olson was also a partner with Ernst & Young (E&Y) and its predecessor Arthur Young & Company. At E&Y, Olson was national director of the firm’s regulatory consulting practice for the financial services industry.

He is said to have no immediate plans for post-PCAOB service.

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