William J. McDonough, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, announced that he will resign on Nov. 30 or when his successor is put in place, whichever occurs sooner.
In a statement, McDonough, 71, said that his health is fine and he does not intend on retiring. "I have a wide range of interests in corporate governance, finance and international affairs, and will explore one or a variety of activities in those fields," McDonough said.
McDonough had taken over the helm of the regulatory body in June 2003 and led the agency's staff of almost 400 through much of its work overseeing implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The five-member Securities and Exchange Commission will appoint his successor.
Calling the PCAOB a "vibrant institution," McDonough said in his statement, "The supervisory process that we have adopted is working well, implemented by the adoption of auditing standards that make sense and an inspection process that helps auditors realize they must improve their practices to win back the support of the public. The firms know that public confidence is won most quickly and effectively through their own efforts, helped and prodded when necessary by the PCAOB."
A former banker, McDonough was serving as president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank when SEC Chairman William Donaldson named him to take over from acting chairman Charles Niemeier. Niemeier had assumed the job following the resignation of inaugural chairman William Webster, who stepped down after a month in the newly created position, when it was disclosed he headed the audit committee of a tech company under investigation for accounting irregularities.
McDonough spent over two decades with First Chicago Corp. and the First National Bank of Chicago before joining the New York Fed in January 1992 as executive vice president, heading the bank's markets group. He was named president 18 months later, and served as the vice chairman and a permanent voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the group responsible for formulating the nation's monetary policy.McDonough said that he would continue to serve as chairman of the Investments Committee of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the Review Group on the Organization of Financial Sector and Capital Markets at the International Monetary Fund, and as a board member of the New York Philharmonic.
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