A Sweet Deal: 5 Things You Need To Know About Accenture’s New CEO

Accenture on Thursday announced it had found Nanterme’s successor in Julie Sweet, the current CEO of Accenture’s business in North America. Sweet is expected to take over on Sept. 1.

A New Day At Accenture

Accenture, one of the world’s largest solution providers announced it has selected a new CEO after being without a permanent leader since January, when beloved former CEO Pierre Nanterme passed away after a two-year battle with cancer.

In his absence, CFO David Rowland took the interim job of leading the company, and has overseen blockbuster acquisitions as well as steady revenue gains while a search committee had the task of replacing Nanterme.

On Thursday, Accenture announced it had found Nanterme’s successor in Julie Sweet, the current CEO of Accenture’s business in North America. Sweet is expected to take over on Sept. 1. Rowland – who has been with Accenture for 36 years -- has been appointed executive chairman of Accenture’s board of directors. Additionally, he will act as an advisor to Sweet and be involved in Accenture’s long-term strategy the company said.

Where did she come from?

Sweet is now CEO of Accenture North America, which, according to a statement, is the company’s largest geographic market with revenue of approximately $18 billion for fiscal 2018, serving more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500. Her North American operation generates nearly 50-percent of the company’s revenue, which in fiscal year 2018 stood at $41.6 billion.

As a member of Accenture’s Global Management Committee for nearly a decade, Sweet has played an integral role in the company’s business and investment strategy.

Where was she before?

Sweet, 51, has worked for Accenture for more than nine years. Prior to her role overseeing the company’s north American operation, Sweet was general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer for five years, serving as principal counsel to senior leadership and the board of directors, and was actively involved in executing the company’s M&A strategy and many of its largest and most complex commercial transactions, the company said.

What does she do outside of Accenture?

In a statement, Accenture said Sweet cares deeply about technology’s impact on business, and inclusion and diversity, which is why she is working to close the critical skills gap in America by creating a national professional apprenticeship movement. Sweet also sits on the board of directors of Catalyst, and sits on the TechNet Executive Council. Sweet is also a member of the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs who promote pro-business public policy, and was previously chair of that group’s technology committee.

Prior to joining Accenture in 2010, Sweet was a partner for 10 years at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. She holds an undergrad degree from Claremont McKenna College and a law degree from Columbia Law School.

Accenture leadership sings Sweet’s praises

Interim CEO Rowland (pictured) said Sweet’s appointment will ensure a “seamless transition” for the company.

“Julie is the right person to lead Accenture into the future, given her strong command of our business and proven ability to drive results in our largest market,” Rowland said in a statement. “We are on a positive growth trajectory at Accenture and are very well-positioned to continue building on our strong momentum. I am so pleased and proud that Julie will lead our company, and I am excited to work with her — along with our entire senior leadership team — to ensure a seamless transition and on Accenture’s next phase of growth and market leadership.”

Marge Magner, who is currently the non-executive chair of the board, said Sweet has the “critical” leadership qualities and business experience necessary to lead the company.

“Julie has the leadership track record and breadth of business experience we believe are critical to lead Accenture, including the ability to forge major client relationships, a strong focus on leading with innovation, commitment to our people and core values, and a focus on delivering value to shareholders,” Magner said in a statement. “Speaking on behalf of the board, we look forward to working closely with Julie as chief executive officer.”

Sweet is ready to get to work

Sweet said in a statement that she was “truly honored to lead our extraordinary company.” She also said, “I look forward to continuing to work closely with our exceptional senior leadership team, along with David, as our executive chairman, and our entire board of directors. Accenture has the most talented people and group of leaders in our industry. Together, we will capture the next waves of growth for Accenture by remaining laser-focused on serving our clients, creating significant value for our shareholders and providing the best career experiences for our people.”