Jim Schiro, chief executive of PricewaterhouseCoopers, is to step down amid growing internal tension over how the firm plans to move forward.
Schiro, who oversaw the 1998 merger of Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse, announced his intention to leave earlier than expected at a meeting of senior partners in Paris on Friday.
In a letter sent out to partners, Schiro wrote: ‘The time has come to extend that orderly transition to the global level, to give a new generation…the opportunity to shape our firm’s global future.’p>His decision to leave is viewed by many as the result of mounting dissatisfaction among PwC’s 10,000 partners over an unclear strategy for the firm’s future.
PwC plans to sell off its consultancy arm following a scathing report by the US Securities and Exchange Commission failed at the end of last year when Hewlett-Packard pulled out of the $18bn deal.
Since then PwC has not been able to find another buyer and plans for an initial public offering appears to be the only alternative to fulfill the firm’s commitment to restructure.
Continued fallout from the merger in the form of partner and staff cuts has added to internal confusion.
The firm’s new global oversight board will nominate the next chief executive who will then have to be approved by partners. Names of board members are expected to be finalised before July, but a new chief executive will not be announced before the autumn.