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

“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

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

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