Engelbert, who was the first female CEO of a major accountancy firm in the US when appointed in 2015, did not win the required support from the board of directors, according to an email circulated to the firm’s partners and seen by the Wall Street Journal.
She can, however, still be appointed for a second term. In a statement, the firm said, “Our partnership has a longstanding succession process that is conducted every four years. We are in the early, board-nominating committee stage of that process, which will include input from our partners, principals and managing directors and culminate with a formal leadership election in early 2019. We will provide an update at that time.”
Engelbert joined Deloitte in 1986 and has experience leading Deloitte & Touche’s audit practice.
Deloitte last year held its position as world’s largest firm by fee income over rival PwC.
In 2017 Deloitte increased its revenue by 5% to $38.8bn (£27.67bn) to keep its nose in front of PwC, which also increased its fee income by 5% to $37.6bn (£26.81bn).
The two firms have been jockeying for top spot in recent years, in 2015 PwC seized the control after two years of playing catch-up, but last year Deloitte powered ahead.