By Lynne Doughtie
Even good companies will face challenges and that is especially true in today’s business environment. The best companies address these challenges by continuously looking for ways to improve, and by being honest and transparent about things they can do better. That’s why I’m very pleased to announce that for the first time in our 120-year history, KPMG will be adding an independent director to our U.S. Board of Directors. I am thrilled to welcome General (ret) Janet C. Wolfenbarger to our Board.
Janet brings to our Board the highest degree of integrity, respect and service. Having retired in 2015 after 35 years as a decorated and respected military officer, she is the United States Air Force’s first four-star female general. Prior to her retirement, she was inducted into the Order of the Sword, which, according to the Air Force, is "the highest honor the enlisted force can bestow upon an individual for their conspicuous and significant contributions to the welfare and prestige of the enlisted force, to mission effectiveness, and to the overall military establishment." With an extremely impressive background, Janet brings unique insights on management, leadership and the uses of technology and innovative solutions that will diversify KPMG’s current Board conversations and perspectives.
We’re confident that the addition of Janet – and additional independent directors in the future – is not only an important step in the firm’s evolution, but also good for our profession as a whole. It underscores to our clients, regulators and the public that we are resolute about change and steadfast in our commitment to quality, innovative thinking and a values-driven culture. We have made the bold decision to incorporate independent directors prominently into our governance, not just as outside advisors, but placing them squarely in KPMG’s chain of command to work alongside us as we continue to build a stronger and better firm.
For 120 years, the focus at KPMG has been to build a professional services firm that operates with the highest levels of integrity and accountability – trust, values and culture are especially important given our critical role in supporting the integrity of the capital markets. This enhancement to KPMG’s governance will challenge our conventional thinking and expose our firm and its leaders to a broader range of unique experiences and a fresh external perspective. This historic step is one of several initiatives the firm is undertaking to support our highest priorities.
Lynne Doughtie is Chairman and CEO of KPMG in the U.S.