Accenture appoints Julie Sweet as its next Chief Executive

24 July 2019 3 min. read
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Global tech services and consulting giant Accenture has appointed Julie Sweet as its new CEO – the first female in the firm’s history to hold the role.

With revenues bounding past the $40 billion mark last year, and service lines branching out in numerous directions, Accenture has since the turn of the century in its modern guise grown to become one of the world’s largest tech and consulting firms of its kind. Now, for the firsttime  in the firm’s history, Accenture will have overall female leadership, with the appointment of Julie Sweet as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Sweet will assume the top role from the 1st of September, taking over from interim CEO David Rowland who stepped into the position following the resignation and subsequent passing of long-term leader Pierre Nanterme due to ill-health (BCG and KPMG have also mourned the loss of former global leaders John Clarkeson and Michael Andrew over the past two months). Rowland will meanwhile serve as executive chairman.

“Julie is the right person to lead Accenture into the future, given her strong command of our business and proven ability to drive results in our largest market,” said Rowland. “We are on a positive growth trajectory at Accenture and are very well-positioned to continue building on our strong momentum. I am so pleased and proud that Julie will lead our company, and I am excited to work with her, along with our entire senior leadership team, to ensure a seamless transition.”

Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture

 Currently serving as the CEO of Accenture’s North American business, Sweet joined Accenture in just 2010 – a relative newcomer compared to Rowland and Nanterme, who both joined the firm in 1983. A Juris Doctor (J.D.) in Law, Sweet also ascends to the top role via a somewhat unusual path for the consultancy sector, initially joining the firm as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer following 17 years at law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

“Julie has the leadership track record and breadth of business experience we believe are critical to lead Accenture, including the ability to forge major client relationships, a strong focus on leading with innovation, commitment to our people and core values, and a focus on delivering value to shareholders,” said acting non-executive chair Marge Magner, who will now return to her role as lead independent director. Sweet will also join the company’s board of directors.

Meanwhile, as Executive Chair – chairing the board of directors – Rowland will according to the firm continue to play a key role and be actively involved in Accenture’s business, including as to its long-term business strategy, as a representative of Accenture with clients around the world and with key external groups, and as an advisor to Sweet. “He has been an exemplary leader as interim chief executive officer during this time of transition,” said Magner.

Commenting on her appointment, Sweet said; “I am truly honored to lead our extraordinary company as Accenture’s chief executive officer. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our exceptional senior leadership team, along with David, as our executive chairman, and our entire board of directors. Accenture has the most talented people and group of leaders in our industry. Together, we will capture the next waves of growth for Accenture.”