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Can Deloitte’s New CEO Change the Firm’s Image?

Deloitte LLP appointed its first female Black chief executive officer to lead its African unit. Ruwayda Redfearn will succeed Lwazi Bam on June 1, when he will exit after a nine-year stint as CEO and 28 years with the accounting firm. Ms Redfearn, 47, started her career at Deloitte as a trainee in 1997 and worked in the KwaZulu-Natal province and New York offices. She then left the company to serve as chief financial officer of Grindrod Trading in 2012, according to her LinkedIn profile. She returned to Deloitte in 2015 to take up a role as managing partner and has served as the chairwoman of the company’s Africa unit. Her appointment comes after Deloitte faced scrutiny over a series of scandals in South Africa. In 2020, the firm had to pay back 150 million rand in consulting fees to power utility Eskom Holdings to end a dispute over the pricing of contracts. The firm was also the auditor at Steinhoff International Holdings, which almost collapsed after an accounting scandal in 2017. Ms Redfearn will be the fourth black CEO at Deloitte.