Danny McCance 3 Oct 2018 11:28am

KPMG South Africa CEO moves after just a year

The embattled Big Four firm is forced to replace its chief executive after only one year, as Nhlamulo Dlomu moves to a global role

She was appointed in September 2017 to replace then-KPMG South Africa CEO Trevor Hoole, who was one of eight senior management members who resigned from the firm in the wake of the Gupta Scandal.

“Given the scale of the reputational challenges facing both KPMG and the industry, the board has decided that a new chief executive from outside the firm, with strong industry experience, will optimise prospects of rebuilding trust,” a spokesperson for the firm said today.

KPMG SA confirmed that Dlomu would be taking on a new global role with a focus “on organisational cultural change and ethical leadership”.

She will work closely with KPMG Global chairman Bill Thomas on global strategies.

“It has been a huge privilege to lead KPMG this past year. Although it has been challenging, we have managed to stabilise the business,” Dlomu said.

The firm says the search for a successor is “well advanced”.

KPMG South Africa’s chairman, professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, will serve as interim executive chairman.

He said that under Dlomu, KPMG South Africa had taken many steps to improve the firm but there was still plenty to do.

“The challenges facing our industry have grown and we are focused on appointing a candidate who will help further restore confidence in KPMG in this changed environment,” Wiseman added.

The firm has been haemorrhaging clients since the news of its uncomfortable relationship with the Gupta family became apparent.

In May, Barclays Africa group cut ties with the firm after KPMG SA lost more partners over the audit of failed VBS Mutual Bank.

The previous month, South Africa’s auditor general terminated all public contracts with the firm.

As a result, in June KPMG SA was forced to cut 400 jobs and close a number of regional offices.