KPMG names next CEO

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Big Four firm KPMG has elected Paul Knopp as its next chair and CEO and Laura Newinski as vice chair.

Knopp will succeed current CEO Lynne Doughtie on July 1, 2020, for a five-year term, while Newinski will succeed current vice chair P. Scott Ozanus. Both Doughtie and Ozanus will retire from KPMG later this year.

Since joining the firm in 1983, Knopp has served a wide range of leading global companies and led several of the firm’s most complex global audit engagements. He has also served on KPMG’s Board of Directors, including serving as lead director. He holds a BBA and an MBA from the University of Texas in Austin.

“I am honored by this opportunity to serve KPMG at this pivotal time in our firm’s history. We have a tremendous opportunity to bring value to our various stakeholders through our one-firm approach during these transformative times,” said Knopp in a statement.

“Paul’s deep understanding of our business, proven track record serving clients undergoing complex change, and strong leadership skills make him the ideal choice to lead the firm,” said Doughtie, in a statement. “I have had the pleasure of working closely with him for many years, and I can attest to his values-based leadership. … Laura is a proven leader who has a long and successful track record driving operational excellence, transformative change, and growth for the firm.”

Doughtie added: “They are absolutely the right leaders at the right time for our firm and our future.”

Newinski, who currently serves as vice chair of operations and was previously national management partner of the U.S. Tax Practice, joined KPMG in 1988. She holds a BBA in accounting from the University of Iowa and an MBT degree from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

“The best part about working at KPMG is our remarkable people,” said Newinski in a statement. “Our people serve our clients with excellence, support one another and their communities, and find solutions that have impact. I look forward to working alongside our partners and teams to drive continued growth for our firm.”

“Paul and Laura will be an excellent and dynamic leadership team who throughout their careers at KPMG have been at the forefront of leading with purpose and living our values,” said Bill Thomas, global chairman of KPMG International, in a statement. “Over the past five years, the U.S. firm has invested alongside member firms throughout our global network in strategic areas like technology and innovation, executed effectively against our collective strategy, and focused on audit quality. Lynne and Scott have exemplified professionalism as leaders of KPMG and our industry throughout their inspiring careers and have positioned our U.S. firm well for the future.”

For more, watch this video interview with Knopp and Newinski.

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KPMG Succession planning Lynne Doughtie