KPMG South Africa CEO Nhlamulo Dlomu will be stepping aside and taking up a new global role focusing on organisational culture change and ethical leadership.
Dlomu was appointed CEO of KPMG South Africa in the wake of several scandals that implicated the group in the business of the Gupta family and, by extension, state capture.
Along with questionable audits of Gupta companies, the group’s report on the so-called ‘rogue SARS spy unit’ – which was used against Pravin Gordhan and other former SARS officials – had to have sections retracted.
The scandals saw a number of KPMG’s biggest clients in the country drop the firm, which also resulted in layoffs and a mass exodus of senior management.
The head of KPMG’s South African office and seven other senior executives quit in September 2017 after an internal investigation found work done for the Guptas fell “considerably short” of the firm’s standards.
In June, KPMG’s South African unit said headcount slumped to 2,200 from 3,400 a year earlier, with consultations for further reductions under way. It’s lost clients this year include Barclays Africa Group Ltd and South Africa’s Auditor-General.
Dlomu said that the year she has served as KPMG SA’s CEO has been challenging, but she believes the business has been stabilised.
According to KPMG, given the scale of the reputational challenges facing both KPMG and the industry, the group’s board has decided that a new chief executive from outside the firm, with strong industry experience, will optimise prospects of rebuilding trust.
A search to identify a successor is well advanced, it said. in the interim, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu will serve as executive chairman.