Berardino, managing partner chief executive officer, announced his departure saying the move was in the best interests of the firm, following the shredding of Enron related documents while he was in charge.
His resignation, after 14 months in the post, will take effect after the Andersen board chooses an interim replacement, expected to be announced in the next few days.
‘Joe Berardino has led this firm well, with integrity and courage, through the most difficult period in its history’, said Aldo Cardoso, chairman of the Andersen Worldwide Board of Partners. ‘We regret Joe’s personal choice to step down, and thank him for his service.’
Earlier, in his message, Berardino said: ‘There has been a great deal of scepticism about whether we would take the leadership necessary to make fundamental changes in our US firm, even though we had brought in (former US Fed Chairman) Paul Volcker with a broad mandate to recommend changes’.
‘In the wake of an unprecedented criminal indictment of the U.S. firm, I have concluded that my continuing could become an impediment to the efforts of Mr. ‘Volcker and many others to save the US firm. While my nature is to keep fighting to protect our people and our clients, the fact is that the improper shredding of documents took place on my watch – and I believe it is now in the best interests of the firm for me to step down from the CEO position’, he added.
Berardino concluded his message by saying: ‘I hope that in some way my decision today will add further to the momentum of partners and employees who want to see our firm and its spirit continue’.