New York (Sept. 26, 2002) -- After nine years at the helm of one of the nation's largest accounting firms, Deloitte & Touche chief executive James E. Copeland Jr., is calling it quits.Copeland, who also serves as global chief executive of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, announced Tuesday at the U.S. firm's annual meeting that he will retire from both posts at the end of his term in May 2003.

"After a break to spend time with my family, I hope to participate in the Deloitte Leadership Center, explore serving on corporate boards, and continue in some way to work toward improvement of the financial and accounting systems," Copeland said in a statement released by the firm.

In recent months, Copeland has championed the creation of an independent federal agency modeled on the National Transportation Safety Board to independently examine financial failures and provide recommendations for improving the American financial system.

A native of Georgia, Copeland joined Deloitte in 1967 and was admitted to the partnership in 1977. He was named vice-chairman of the U.S. firm in 1992, and became national managing partner in 1994. In 1999, he was elected CEO of Deloitte & Touche and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, roles in which he leads more than 100,000 people in more than 140 countries.

During his tenure, Deloitte grew from the fourth largest firm in the U.S. to the second largest, and rose from fifth to second globally. Copeland also serves on a number of boards, including The September 11th Fund, the New York City Partnership and Investment Fund, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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