Stephen D. Mayer has stepped down as CEO of Top 100 California firm Burr Pilger Mayer, effective August 1, according to an internal email obtained by Accounting Today.

Mayer, who led the firm for 26 years, will transition to CEO of a new entity in the family of BPM companies, tentatively titled BPM Ventures, while remaining an active and participative shareholder and member of the BPM board of directors.

The new venture will hold early-stage BPM businesses like information technology solutions provider Armus, IT consulting, financial planning for smaller clients, and NetSuite implementation, all of which Mayer plans to grow into self-sufficient businesses, according to his e-mail, which was sent at the end of last week.

During this transition, the BPM board has selected an interim executive committee to oversee firm operations. The four-person committee will be Russ Burbank, Mike Spence, Marc Berger and Curtis Burr.

Last February, BPM canceled plans for a merger with Windes & McClaughry after the two California firms could not come to an agreement on a deal that would have created one of the largest CPA and business advisory firms in the state. Mayer had expressed disappointment at the outcome.

In a second e-mail sent early this week, Mayer compared his new role with BPM Ventures to his establishment of BPM, which reported $70.2 million revenue in 2012, as part of a group of five people 26 years ago.

“Now for the third time in my career I can work closely with others and build a business that I deeply believe in from the ground up,” he wrote. “The thrill of starting something new again with a team of entrepreneurial people gets my heart pumping. It isn’t without its challenges, but I love climbing new mountains rather than driving on the freeway with everyone else. I am confident that we will be successful, we will have fun, and I will be able to move forward.”

Koltin Consulting Group CEO Allan D. Koltin, who advised BPM on the proposed merger with Windes & McClaughry, stated: "Steve is an incredible talent and is one of the best leaders our profession has had. I don't know of many first-generation CEOs and founders who started with nothing and built a $75 million firm in as short a time period. The firm will have some big shoes to fill, but with Steve's mentoring they will do just fine."

Mayer shared that he will continue to be one of the primary market-facing persons for BPM, with a strong emphasis on business development, community relations, coaching and mentoring.

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