John B. Veihmeyer

John B. Veihmeyer
Chairman and CEO, KPMG LLP

Corporate Headquarters: New York City
Primary Business: Audit, Tax, and Advisory Service
Employees: More than 21,000 in the U.S.

2011 CEO in Action

Diversity and inclusion are priorities for me, as they are for KPMG LLP, and they’re woven into everything we do. My own commitment to diversity and the approach I take to leading KPMG’s diversity initiatives has its roots in my personal as well as professional experiences, so it’s easy for me to be passionate about ensuring that KPMG remains an organization that values the contributions of all our people and creates opportunities for them to succeed.

I’m very hands on when it comes to diversity: I serve as the executive chair of our Diversity Advisory Board and expanded our annual diversity conference, now the Chairman’s Forum on Diversity. I led the 3-hour firmwide webcast for 1,200 KPMG partners and employees, articulated my six diversity strategic imperatives and goals for the next five years, and challenged them to be bolder in their vision of what we can achieve together.

The Chairman’s Forum reaffirmed for me that my passion is shared by KPMG’s people at all levels of the firm, as well as the members of the Diversity Advisory Board, Women’s Advisory Board, and our six employee-driven national diversity networks, which engage more than 43 percent of our people. In today’s global business environment, diversity must be a strategic business imperative. At KPMG, diversity is aligned with and supports all our strategic priorities; we believe our ability to leverage the diverse experiences, talents, ideas, and perspectives of all our people is linked to our commercial success. Diversity supports our people, enhances our organization, and enables us to deliver exceptional service to our clients.

In my view, diversity and inclusion are key to helping any organization achieve its goals. Fostering and sustaining a diverse and inclusive work environment enables us to provide the skills, perspectives, and innovative ideas that our clients expect from us. It also enables us to create meaningful mentoring and development opportunities for our people, support their career objectives, and help them build the careers to which they aspire. We’ve leveraged diversity to suport our goals and strengthen our culture through recruiting programs that help us identify and mentor high-potential college freshman and sophomores and through development programs that target our ethnically diverse associates and help ensure that they receive the client exposure and experience they need to succeed early in their career. We also foster gender-specific programs that help our senior associate women keep their careers on track and other development programs as well.

We work hard every day to advance our diversity strategy and ensure that we continue to foster an inclusive work environment, and it gives me great pride that our employee surveys tell us that the majority of our people consider KPMG a great place to work and build a career, regardless of their gender, race, or sexual orientation.

Education: BBA in Accounting, University of Notre Dame
First Job: Working in a warehouse, handling shipments and inventory.
What I’m Reading: It’s Your Ship, by Mike Abrashoff, a U.S. Navy Captain.
My Philosophy: Be honest and respectful with everyone you interact with, and making them feel valued at that moment.
Best Advice: Don’t try to orchestrate every step in your career path. Just do every job as well as you possibly can.
Family: Married with three children.
Interests: Community involvement, golf, vacationing at the beach, and Notre Dame sports.
Favorite Charities: Family for Literacy, a KPMG initiative