Deloitte names Sharon Thorne as first woman to chair global board

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited has designated Sharon Thorne to be the next chair of the firm’s global board of directors, starting in June. She will be the first woman to chair Deloitte’s global board.

Thorne is currently deputy CEO and managing partner global & strategy of Deloitte North West Europe. She will succeed David Cruickshank, who is finishing up a four-year term as global chairman after chairing the Deloitte UK Board for eight years.

Thorne is an audit partner with more than 30 years of experience auditing and advising clients across a wide variety of industry sectors. She is based in London and has spent over two decades of her career in Deloitte UK’s Manchester office. In her current role, she has been responsible for the global aspect of Deloitte North West Europe’s strategy, particularly in terms of international trade and investment. Thorne has spent nine years on on the Deloitte Global Board, six years on the Deloitte UK Board, four years as Chair of Deloitte CIS Holdings Ltd, and six years on the Board of the Confederation of British Industry.

Deloitte building in Ottawa
Deloitte's Canadian office stands in Ottawa, on Wednesday, August 10 2011. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
Sharon Thorne of Deloitte

“As global chair, my focus will be on evolving our governance model in support of our global strategic ambitions, and positioning the board to stay ahead of the complex challenges presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Thorne said in a statement Monday, “I will also focus on continuing to strengthen Deloitte’s commitment to inclusion and putting our purpose at the heart of all we do.”

Thorne has been championing Deloitte’s commitment to inclusiveness, having served as executive sponsor for the Deloitte UK LGBT+ network since 2010. She is also a vocal advocate for the importance of excellence in people leadership. She was the first woman appointed to Deloitte UK’s executive team in 2006, holding the role of managing partner talent, and set up the firm’s diversity networks in 2007.

“Sharon and I have served together on the global board and I’ve had the chance to see first-hand the unique skills and leadership capabilities she will bring to this role, including her substantive governance experience and proven track record in the UK and globally,” said Cruickshank, the outgoing global chair. “As the first woman to lead the global board, she will achieve an important milestone in Deloitte’s history, especially fitting as we celebrate International Women’s Day this week.”

Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen also praised her. “Sharon’s leadership has made Deloitte stronger globally,” he said in a statement. “Her vision for the global board is built around her aspiration to make a positive impact in the world and backed up by a career full of action, especially as an unflinching advocate for a more diverse and inclusive workplace. I look forward to working with Sharon in her new role to further our collective purpose-driven vision for Deloitte.”

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