PwC appoints Kevin Burrowes as new CEO for Australia

25 June 2023 3 min. read
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The fallout from PwC Australia’s government tax policy breach continues, with the firm to sell off its lucrative government advisory business and parachute partner Kevin Burrowes in as its new CEO.

Currently serving as global clients & industries lead, Singapore-based partner Kevin Burrowes has been with PwC for close to three decades across two stints, and will replace interim CEO Kristin Stubbins, who was placed in the role following the departure of former chief Tom Seymour.

Burrowes first joined PwC in London in 1986, working his way up to partner before spending eight years between IBM Consulting and Credit Suisse. He rejoined the firm in 2009, serving as global banking and capital markets leader before taking on his current clients & industries role out of Singapore over the past three years.

PwC appoints Kevin Burrowes as new CEO for Australia

Burrowes now becomes a partner with PwC in Australia, and will relocate to Sydney upon completing the immigration process.

“I am honoured to have been asked to lead an organisation that has been part of the Australian business community for 150 years. Along with the leadership team, I will work tirelessly to increase transparency and repair trust with our stakeholders, while also enhancing our governance and culture,” stated Burrowes, who was described by PwC Australia governance board chair Justin Carroll as bringing “a fresh perspective to the firm.”

In a press release, the Australian firm also noted Burrowes’ appointment was made in ‘consultation’ with the global network (a number of international PwC heavyweights have been on damage control duties in Sydney since the tax policy scandal broke wide open), with global chair Bob Moritz not holding back in his assessment of the firm’s recent shortcomings, stating that the Australia arm had failed to meet the network’s code of conduct under past leadership.

“Its past actions are not representative of the work and behaviours of PwC around the world and I am deeply sorry to our clients, our broader stakeholders and our people,” Moritz said. “PwC Australia has significant work to do and I am confident that the steps they are taking with the network’s support will result in a stronger firm. In addition to working with PwC’s largest clients, Kevin is an expert in PwC’s network standards and governance structures.”

In a further development, PwC will also divest from its government advisory practice, bumping the firm from its perch as Australia’s largest Big Four firm.

To be sold to Allegro Funds for $1 and continue as an independent corporation currently code-named ‘Bell’, the practice last year accounted for roughly one fifth of PwC’s $2.6 billion in annual revenues (closest rival Deloitte pulled in $2.5 billion), and has around 130 partners and a headcount of 1,750.

“This was an extremely difficult decision, but we have taken this step because it is the right thing to do for our public sector clients and to protect the jobs of the talented people in our government business,” said PwC Australia Chair Justin Carroll. “The divestment will impact the firm’s future size and operations. However, it allows the firm to move forward with predictability and focus, and ensure stability for the rest of PwC’s clients in other parts of the business.”