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EY has named Janet Truncale, the head of its financial services business in the Americas, as its next global chief executive, marking the first time a woman has been named to the top of a Big Four accounting firm.
Truncale will replace Carmine Di Sibio, who is retiring in June after a plan to spin off EY’s consulting division into a new public company collapsed. The appointment was announced in an email to partners on Wednesday.
“Truncale is an exceptional leader with a strong foundation in serving clients across all of EY’s business lines,” Di Sibio said in the email, adding that her “strong focus on culture and extensive experience” spanned 395,000 employees and partners of the group would inspire.
The Big Four have appointed female bosses to lead some of their largest member firms, including EY’s two former U.S. executives, but had never before chosen a woman to lead their global operations.
The appointment followed a months-long selection process that whittled down an 11-person list to six candidates, which the company’s 18-person global executive voted on at a meeting in London this week.
The choice was then confirmed by a council of other senior partners.
The new chief executive will be tasked with smoothing over divisions caused by the spinoff plan, which was abandoned in April after more than a year of work that cost $600 million. It failed amid opposition from senior figures in EY’s U.S. audit practice after exacerbating long-simmering tensions between the U.S. firm and global leadership.
Truncale, 53, has more than 30 years of experience at EY, where he entered the auditing business as an intern. The company, which she has led since 2020, handles both auditing and consulting activities for financial services clients.
Di Sibio was also an executive in the U.S. financial services business before taking the top job.
Truncale beat out early favorites including British partner Andy Baldwin, a key Di Sibio lieutenant who helped craft the spinoff plan, and Jad Shimaly, who leads EY’s business in Canada. Both men came from the company’s consulting department.
The selection process was hit by controversy when Baldwin warned executives that they risked breaching Britain’s age discrimination laws if they sounded out senior partners for his candidacy. At 57, Baldwin would have needed an extension to the company’s statutory retirement age of 60 to complete a four-year term as CEO.