Deloitte will soon become the first of the 'Big Four' accounting firms to have a female boss, after Cindy Hook was appointed CEO on Friday.
The appointment is significant for women in the profession, where women make up around half of all accountants in Australia but just 16.9% of partners in the country's top 100 accounting firms, according to a 2013 BRW survey.
Hook is currently the national managing partner for assurance and advisory at Deloitte, responsible for a team of 1000 people across five cities and more than 29% of the firm's revenue.
Deloitte chairman Keith Jones said Hook was chosen for her talent, collaborative leadership style, and for her track record building high performance teams.
"Since joining us from the US firm in 2009, Cindy has distinguished herself as a highly talented, inspiring and energetic leader whose creativity and positive attitude are among her greatest strengths," he said.
He told the Australian Financial Review the firm did not set out to appoint a female leader, but that Hook's elevation is an outcome of it strong diversity program.
Outgoing CEO Giam Swiegers said Hook is a colleague, great friend and an outstanding leader.
Swiegers has led the firm for 12 years, taking it from fourth in the 'Big Four' accounting firm rankings to number two. He has been on the record as personally mentoring and sponsoring a number of women in key leadership positions in the firm, including Hook.
Hook said she plans to build on the firm's blend of culture, diversity, innovation and "adventurous and competitive spirit".
Hook lives in Sydney with her husband and two teenage sons. She's a marathon runner who says she always loves a challenge and likes to "set the bar high". She officially starts in the position on 1 February.
Check back with Women's Agenda for more on Cindy Hook.
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