ACCOUNTING giant KPMG UK has appointed its first female leaders in 150 years, replacing boss Bill Michael who was forced to step aside on Wednesday(10).
“The firm has asked Bina Mehta, as senior elected board member, to step in as acting chair of the board and Mary O’Connor, head of clients and markets to assume Bill’s day-to-day Executive responsibilities as acting senior partner during the period of the investigation,” Zoe Sheppard, a KPMG representative, said in an emailed statement.
The Financial Times reported earlier that the accounting firm told its 600 partners about the appointments at an online meeting on Thursday(11).
Michael faces an investigation over alleged offensive remarks he made. During an online meeting on Monday(8), he reportedly told consultants to “stop moaning” about the pandemic’s impact.
It has also been reported that he told staff to stop “playing the victim card” dismissing staff concerns about job stress during Covid-19.
According to two insiders, he told staff that he was meeting clients for coffee despite lockdown rules, reports said.
His remarks triggered angry responses from some staff on an app used to post comments anonymously during the meeting, the FT reported.
Michael, who has run KPMG UK since 2017 as chairman and senior partner, later apologised, saying the comments did not reflect his beliefs.
KPMG, which employs more than 220,000 people globally, immediately began an ‘independent investigation’ which will be carried out by law firm Linklaters.