KPMG to split top jobs after former chairman’s ‘stop moaning’ comments to staff

August Graham, PA City Reporter
·2 min read

Auditing giant KPMG has announced a change to the way its UK business works after its former chairman stepped down following comments to staff to “stop moaning” during the pandemic.

The business said it would split the roles of chair and chief executive “in line with industry practice”.

It will vote to elect a new chief executive, beginning this month and concluding in April.

While the business goes through change, Bina Mehta, who took over as interim chair after former chairman Bill Michael stepped down, will continue in the post for another year.

She will oversee the election of the new chief executive, who will be given the responsibility to run KPMG UK on a day-to-day basis.

The election will give the new boss a term until September 2025.

Mary O’Connor, head of clients and markets, will continue as interim chief executive until the election is concluded.

Ms Mehta said: “The board has acted to ensure we continue to provide clear, long-term leadership for the firm as we deliver the next stage of our growth strategy and support our clients as the country emerges from the pandemic.

“During the appointment process, Mary will continue to lead the firm on an interim basis. She is doing a tremendous job leading the firm during what has been a challenging period.”

Mr Michael angered staff earlier this month when he told them on a conference call to “stop playing the victim card” over concerns the business might cut pensions, pay and bonuses amid Covid-19.

He resigned after the comments were revealed by the Financial Times.

The newspaper also reported that Mr Michael has spoken about meeting clients for coffee during the pandemic.

“He literally said ‘I know I’m breaking the law’ to meet up with people during the pandemic,” a person on the call told the newspaper.

Mr Michael spent some time in hospital with Covid-19 last year.