James Turley to retire as Ernst & Young CEO

Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:58pm EST

Ernst & Young Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Turley speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 26, 2011. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Ernst & Young Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Turley speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Vincent Kessler

(Reuters) - Accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young said chairman and chief executive James Turley will retire in June 2013.

Turley told the firm's worldwide partners in a November 10 communication that he would retire at age 58, on June 30, 2013, Ernst & Young said in a statement. A replacement will be named by April 2012, it added.

"He's gotten them through some ugly litigation," Jonathan Hamilton, editor of the Accounting News Report, said. Many feared that the lawsuits stemming from the firm's audits of hospital operator HealthSouth Corp would cripple Ernst & Young, he added.

Turley headed the firm during some of its stormiest times, beginning as chairman just before the Enron and Worldcom accounting scandals sparked congressional hearings on the profession and led to tough oversight under a new watchdog.

More recently, it has faced a lawsuit by the New York attorney general alleging it helped Lehman Brothers engage in a massive fraud before its 2008 bankruptcy. Ernst & Young has said it acted properly in that case.

The firm's revenue has grown about 130 percent since Turley took over, said Arvind Hickman, editor of the International Accounting Bulletin.

Ernst & Young's growth over the last decade stands up to its rivals, setting aside Deloitte, he said.

Turley started at Ernst & Young in 1977. He was named chairman in 2001 and chief executive in 2003.

He was nominated to President Barack Obama's Export Council in 2010.

Ernst & Young, present in 140 countries, reported about $23 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ended June 30.

(Reporting by Dena Aubin; Editing by Viraj Nair)

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