Picture: KPMG
Picture: KPMG

In the wake of controversies plaguing auditing firm KPMG SA, it has decided to move its CEO Nhlamulo Dlomu to a “global role” — specifically around dealing with organisation culture change and ethical leadership.

“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,” the firm said.

“She will work with Bill Thomas, KPMG’s global chairman, and the global management team in executing on the firm’s global strategic priorities.”

While the search for a new CEO is “well advanced”, KPMG’s Wiseman Nkuhlu will serve as executive chair in the interim.

Dlomu was appointed in October 2017 after Trevor Hoole in the aftermath of its dealings with the Guptas and the South African Revenue Service (Sars). 

Dlomu said on Wednesday that it had been a privilege to lead KPMG over the past year.

“Although it has been challenging, we have managed to stabilise the business. This would not have been achieved without the loyalty of our clients, the commitment of KPMG partners and staff, as well as the invaluable input of the business community, civil society and the larger South African public.”

Nkuhlu said KPMG was indebted to Nhlamu’s “exceptional contribution” to rebuilding KPMG.

“I know that KPMG International will benefit tremendously from her considerable personal and professional skills.

“We have, under Nhlamu’s leadership, already taken many steps to improve the firm, and we need to do more. 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.