IIRC CEO Richard Howitt steps down

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International Integrated Reporting Council CEO Richard Howitt is departing the organization Friday, the IIRC announced Thursday, after three years of leading the group that has promoted integrated reporting and promulgated the model worldwide.

“For me, the last three years at the IIRC have rushed by and I am very proud of everything we’ve achieved,” he told Accounting Today. “It is indeed with pride as well as sadness that we’re making the announcement.”

Howitt didn’t provide a reason why he was stepping down. Before taking on the chief executive role at the IIRC, he was a voluntary IIRC ambassador for five years promoting integrated reporting within the business and policy communities. Integrated reporting ties together financial reporting with reporting on other aspects of an organization, including sustainability, governance, strategy and human capital. Prior to leading the IIRC as CEO, Howitt was a member of the European Parliament for 22 years, representing the East of England part of the United Kingdom until 2016.

American Institute of CPAs president and CEO Barry Melancon, who also chairs the IIRC board, praised Howitt for his service. “I would like to thank Richard for all his efforts to drive the growth of integrated reporting across the world, to establish the major alignment project between different reporting frameworks and to help bring the IIRC to its new global strategic phase,” he stated. “We understand it is the right time professionally and personally for him to enable the IIRC to seek fresh leadership, as we seek to intensify our efforts to bring clarity to the reform of the corporate reporting landscape.”

The IIRC said it plans to announce an interim CEO shortly to avoid any disruption in its organizational strategies, stakeholder relations and operations. Howitt had been working with other groups that provide sustainability-related standards in an effort to harmonize them through an effort called the Corporate Reporting Dialogue. The IIRC said a formal search for a new CEO will be conducted by the board of directors, the details of which will be announced and made available on the IIRC website for interested parties to consider the role.

“It has been a privilege to serve the IIRC and to be part of its historic mission to transform corporate reporting in the world,” Howitt said in a statement. “I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all my colleagues past and present, and to all our many partners and stakeholders throughout the world, for your support, kindness and friendship. It is a proud but sad day for me, and one from which I will always advocate for the fundamental values represented in our work.”

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CSR reporting Financial reporting ESG Barry Melancon IIRC