John B. Veihmeyer

John B. Veihmeyer
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, KPMG LLP

Headquarters: New York City
Primary Business: Audit, tax, and advisory services
Employees: 21,000

Prioritizing Diversity Goals for 2012

I truly believe diversity is a strategic business imperative for KPMG. In addition to improving our ability to attract, retain, and advance a more innovative workforce and leadership team—what I refer to as talent sustainability—diversity also affords us an opportunity to engage our clients and our people, and create the type of shared value that benefits our communities.

Earlier this year, I brought firm leadership together to review our diversity strategy and the steps we’ve taken to move these larger objectives forward. I was very clear that we cannot sustain a high-performing culture if we are not diverse. During our discussion, we also reiterated that all must hold ourselves accountable for achieving our diversity goals. It’s essential to our long-term success.

That meeting, and the steps we took throughout 2011, reaffirmed that we were focused on the right priorities. I’m proud to say that as a result:

  • Four women and two ethnically diverse partners now sit on KPMG’s Board of Directors.
  • Our new Vice Chair, Advisory—the top executive position of our fastest-growing line of business—is a woman.
  • Our Leaders Engaging Leaders program continues to establish successful one-to-one sponsorship relationships between the members of our Board of Directors and Management Committee and our high-performing female and ethnically diverse partners.
  • We’ve teamed with the National Academy Foundation (NAF) to strengthen high school accounting education at its Academies of Finance (AOF) nationwide, with pilot programs in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Through this collaboration, KPMG assists NAF with its accounting curriculum, and guides and supports NAF’s accounting course sequence to ensure industry relevance.
  • We expanded our role within Women Corporate Directors (WCD), a global organization of executive women who serve on more than 1,500 boards of directors worldwide.

These are only a few of the steps we’ve taken as we continue along our “diversity journey.” If we want to keep up the momentum, though, we must continue to hold ourselves and each other accountable for ensuring that all our decisions contribute to creating a supportive culture where all of our people, diverse and non-diverse, absolutely believe that their career potential within KPMG is unlimited.

I am personally committed to doing just that!

Education: BBA, University of Notre Dame
First Job: Working in a warehouse, handling shipments and inventory
What I’m Reading: Utopia, by Thomas More; next on the list is Touch Points, by Doug Conant
My Philosophy: Be honest and respectful with everyone you interact with, and make 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, Notre Dame sports
Favorite Charity: KPMG’s Family for Literacy