Deloitte Asia Pacific CEO Cindy Hook preparing to step down

01 November 2021 3 min. read
More news on

Cindy Hook – Deloitte’s inaugural Asia Pacific CEO and the first woman to lead a Big Four firm in Australia – will not seek another term come elections in May.

Reporting from the Australian Financial Review has broken the news that Cindy Hook will be stepping down from the top regional role. Citing internal emails, the publication reports that Hook wishes to be closer to family in her native US, and will not seek re-election when her current term concludes in May of next year. The news follows that of former Accenture CEO Tara Brady’s recent resignation due to family reasons.

Prior to her promotion overseeing what is the fastest growth region of the world’s largest traditional professional services firm, and at a time when Deloitte was in the process of merging its operations across the Asia Pacific into single entity, Hook was notable as the first ever woman to lead one of the Big Four firms in Australia, appointed to the role of CEO in early 2015 only six years after transferring from San Francisco to Sydney.

Cindy Hook, CEO Asia Pacific, Deloitte

Altogether, Hook has been with Deloitte for three and a half decades, first joining the firm in 1986 following a bachelors in accounting from Miami University, before then being made partner in 1998. On her transfer to Australia, Hook served as the National Managing Partner for Deloitte’s local Assurance and Advisory practice, and while now based in Singapore she continues as a member of the board of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

“I loved the ten years I spent in Sydney, both personally and professionally. It was a period of tremendous career growth and development for me...Australia will always have a place in my heart and I expect to visit often in the years ahead,” Hook told the AFR, while adding in an email to partners that being the first regional APAC leader was an “absolute highlight” of her career. It was unreported if she intends to continue with Deloitte back in the US.

“Professionally, I will have been a CEO for 7+ years when my term ends. The role of CEO is an absolute privilege, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity and the many challenges my teams and I have faced and overcome together,” she wrote in the email. “However, there is also a level of responsibility and pressure that comes with the role and an unrelenting pace – and this has taken a toll over time. So for me it is now time to set a different pace.”

In a recent Q&A with (conducted by Cat Callen, an Associate Partner at specialist advisory search and interim firm RDW) Hook was asked about the challenges of developing through the pandemic and subsequent lock-downs (“this time has made all of us reflect on how we were living and working before”), as well as how someone in her position sustains the drive to keep moving forward.

“The first is that I am incredibly competitive, and want to make Deloitte the best professional services firm in the world,” she said in response. “The other thing that really drives me is a desire to help people reach their potential. Developing talent and building capability in our organisation is core to our business but it’s also incredibly personally rewarding for me – when I see young leaders grow and be empowered to achieve things they may not even have thought possible themselves.”