PracticeConsultingLeader – A real commitment to the Web.

Leader - A real commitment to the Web.

Earlier this year, Management Consultancy reported on the annual Andersen Consulting analyst gathering. CEO George Shaheen set out a compelling vision for the future of global business. The Web would encompass every business process and e-commerce would spearhead Andersen's strategy, he said. What we didn't know at the time was that the real future being talked about was Shaheen's own: that he would throw in the towel after 30 years at Andersen Consulting and move to head up a new online business.

Shaheen’s move is a considerable blow for Andersen Consulting. He was a high-profile, charismatic leader who refashioned the way in which managing partners operated. Although criticised for being autocratic, this was the man who increased the company’s revenue eight-fold in his ten-year tenure as CEO. Whilst most managing partners were happy to shrink behind layers of consultants, Shaheen ran the partnership like a corporation. His exit was swift and John T. Kelly has been shunted forward as interim boss. A new CEO will be announced next month. Kelly seems keen to push the right buttons and placate client fears. “We’ll help clients create their future in the new eEconomy,” he has said, trying to ensure that it doesn’t look as if Shaheen has taken all the e-commerce kudos with him. Shaheen has said that he was keen to notch up another year in service, and Andersen’s could have done with him not going at all. In his departure statement Shaheen said, “The timing of this move was not under my control.” But Andersen consultants may smile wryly as they try to imagine any situation in which Shaheen was not in control.

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