New York (April 1, 2004) -- Consulting giant Accenture announced that its chairman and chief executive, Joe W. Forehand, would relinquish his CEO post effective Sept. 1.

Accenture’s board of directors said it has been "actively involved in succession planning for the last two years" and has identified an internal candidate to succeed Forehand. An announcement is expected in mid-April. He will remain as chairman of the board of directors, will act as an advisor to his successor and will continue to provide input into Accenture’s business strategy, the company said.

Forehand, 55, led the firm through its transition from Andersen Consulting to Accenture following its August 2000 divorce from Arthur Andersen and Andersen Worldwide, and saw the firm through its initial public offering in 2001.

Forehand took over as CEO in November 1999, succeeding George Shaheen, who left the consultancy to become chief executive at online grocer Webvan. Prior to becoming CEO, Forehand was managing partner of the company's communications and high-tech operating group.

The news came as the consulting concern released its second quarter earnings. Accenture posted second-quarter profits of $123.1 million, a 4 percent rise over the prior year’s quarter for the period ended Feb. 29. Accenture's system-wide revenue rose 17 percent, to $3.3 billion, versus the same period of one year ago. For the six-month period, Accenture’s profits rose 21 percent, to $297.4 million compared with the results from last year, while six-month revenues rose 14 percent, to $6.6 billion.

-- WebCPA staff

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