She will take over from Lord Gus O’Donnell who is leaving at the end of December after four years in the role.
Dame Fiona left Nestlé last December after a career of nearly 40 years during which she held a variety of posts both in the UK and overseas. She was appointed UK & Ireland chair in 2012 and also served as CEO between 2012 and 2017.
She was awarded a damehood in the 2015 New Year’s honours list, both for services to the food and drink industry and to skills development, a particular passion.
She joined PwC’s PIB as an independent non-executive in July as part of the body’s succession planning. Fellow members include Sir Ian Gibson and Justin King.
Welcoming Dame Fiona’s appointment as chair of the PIB, PwC chairman and senior partner Kevin Ellis said that she would be contributing valuable expertise and insight to the firm’s governance.
“We recognise the critical importance of our public interest responsibilities and know that more than ever we need to demonstrate our accountability and transparency,” he added. “PwC’s independent non-executives play a critical role in the firm’s governance and decision-making process.”
Dame Fiona said that the PIB would focus on audit quality and embedding a culture which promotes the Big Four firm’s core values and builds trust. “Given the ongoing scrutiny of the audit profession and the role PwC plays in the UK economy, it’s vital that we play an active role in helping to build trust and confidence in business.”
Ellis also paid tribute to the work that Lord O’Donnell had done as chair over the past four years and to Samantha Barrass, a fellow independent non-executive who is also standing down.