Richard Deutsch becomes CEO of Deloitte Australia in Asia Pacific shake-up

14 August 2018 Authored by Consultancy.com.au

Deloitte Australia today announced that Richard Deutsch has become its new CEO, replacing Cindy Hook. Deutsch has been elevated from his Managing Partner, Assurance and Advisory role and has served with the Big Four accounting and consultancy firm since 2015.

In a big day for the Australian professional services world, Deloitte has announced that Richard Deutsch will begin his new role of CEO on the 1st of September. Deutsch is one of Australia’s most respected industry professionals and has held several influential positions across the consulting world, including a decade at rival Big Four firm PwC.

“Richard is one of the most experienced executives in Australian professional services today with a track record of success and a great vision for the future,” said Deloitte Australia’s Chairman Tom Imbesi.

“In a firm with outstanding candidates, choosing Richard was no easy decision. It was his passion for driving our culture of collaboration and innovation, and his strategy for the coming years, that stood out and the Board agreed he was the right person to guide Deloitte Australia into the future.”

He will take over from Cindy Hook, who has been a pioneer example of a successful CEO with Deloitte Australia since the beginning of 2015. Hook will become the head of the new Deloitte Asia Pacific network following the huge merger of its practices across China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The move – which made waves across Asia as the big consulting firms are attempting to solidify themselves as kingpins in the region – will put Hook in charge of an outstanding 45,000 staff across its various regional operations. For a comparison, this number is just over half the size of the Australian Defence Force.

Richard Deutsch becomes CEO of Deloitte Australia in Asia Pacific shake-upDeloitte’s new Asia Pacific practice “lays an important foundation as we [at Deloitte] place a high strategic focus on this region,” according to Deloitte global chief executive Punit Renjen. “Our strategy is to deliver services to clients as one seamless global organisation.”

Closer to home, Deutsch will lead Deloitte Australia under the Asia Pacific banner in an increasingly hostile political arena. During Hook’s reign as CEO, the federal Labor Party has become critical of the Coalition Government’s high spend on consultants and contractors. The topic will no doubt be an election issue next year.

Deloitte, as the biggest professional service firm in Australia – in relation to the number of Partners and turnover – will no doubt set an example throughout this nationwide discussion. A total of $1.7 billion has been spent on consulting services from the Big Four in the past five years of which $364.8 million has gone to Deloitte.

Deutsch said, “My goal is to make Deloitte the undisputed leader in the market place. We will attract and retain the best people, help our clients realise their goals, and make an impact on our communities.” Beyond politics, the new CEO has big shoes to fill in terms of positive social impact. Cindy Hook has been a champion of diversity and equality and has set a strong example throughout the corporate world in Australia.

“Deloitte is poised to seize the opportunity amidst the host of changes we face – from the changing global landscape, to new and emerging technologies, to evolving regulatory, societal and employee expectations,” he continued.

Aside from being the first CEO of a Big Four professional services firm in Australia, Hook initiated a number of projects that saw Deloitte become one of the most inclusive workplaces in the country. A non-extensive list of achievements includes; teaming up with the OUTstanding 50 list with google and being named as CEO of the year by the Australian Workplace Equality Index for her role in LGBTI inclusion at the firm.

Whilst Deloitte will no doubt continue Hook’s diversity agenda, Deutsch’s passion follows another no-less-important line in the non-for-profit sector. He is the Chairman of OzHarvest and a board member of Adara, a charity supporting children, their mothers and communities in Nepal and Uganda.

“We will further amplify our purpose, our diversity and inclusion strategy and our wellbeing agendas. In doing this we will provide greater support to our people in building resilience and continue to develop our relationships with indigenous communities,” Deutsch said.

Deutsch went on to say that, “We have great people at Deloitte and it will be a privilege to lead an organisation where our clients and our people tell us it’s our culture that sets us apart.”

“I’m humbled the Board members have placed their faith in me to take the Australian firm forward. Under Cindy, we’ve achieved remarkable growth of 15 percent for four successive years and I’m up for the task of building on that momentum,” he concluded.

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