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KPMG’s Bill Michael Resigns After Telling Staff to ‘Stop Moaning’

Recently, we were asked to comment on the story below.  Our quick analysis:  it’s not like he said something accidental, or something he didn’t mean. His words clearly expressed his beliefs. And those beliefs were not consistent with the values of KPMG – and appropriate action was taken.

From Mark Sweney & Joanna Partridge writing in The Guardian:

KPMG’s UK chair, Bill Michael, has resigned after telling staff to “stop moaning” during a virtual meeting about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, where he also called unconscious bias “crap”. KPMG UK boss told staff to ‘stop moaning’ about Covid work conditions.

Michael, who has headed the company since 2017, was speaking at a virtual town hall meeting on Monday with members of the firm’s financial services consulting team when he made the comments.

The 52-year-old Australian, who told staff to stop “playing the victim card” and described the concept of unconscious bias as being “complete and utter crap for years”, apologised and said on Friday the scandal over his comments had made his position at the accounting giant “untenable”.

Michael said: “I love the firm and I am truly sorry that my words have caused hurt among my colleagues and for the impact the events of this week have had on them. In light of that, I regard my position as untenable and so I have decided to leave the firm. It has been a privilege to have acted as chair of KPMG. I feel hugely proud of all our people and the things they have achieved, particularly during these very challenging times.”

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