The leadership change at Big Four firm KPMG became official Wednesday, as the firm's 1,600 U.S. partners ratified the election of Timothy P. Flynn, 48, as chairman and chief executive, and John B. Veihmeyer, 49, as deputy chairman and chief operating officer.

Flynn and Veihmeyer, who will serve in their respective roles until 2011, succeed Eugene D. O'Kelly and Joseph Mauriello. O'Kelly, 53, who has served as chairman and CEO since 2002, announced June 5 that he would step down to battle advanced-stage cancer.

Since the firm's partnership agreement provides that the chairman and deputy chairman are elected jointly, deputy chairman Mauriello, 60, relinquishes his position earlier than his planned retirement in 2006. Both will remain partners in the firm.

Tim Flynn, a 26-year KPMG veteran, previously served as vice chair of audit and risk advisory services, with operating responsibility for the firm's audit practice, as well as its risk advisory services and financial advisory services practices. Prior to that, he served as vice chair of human resources.

Veihmeyer, who joined the firm in 1977, was formerly the managing partner of KPMG's Washington office, as well as the mid-Atlantic area managing partner for audit and risk advisory services. In late 2003, he was elected to KPMG's board of directors and was named chairman of the KPMG Foundation.

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