Press release

27 Jan. 2021

EY Oceania announces CEO succession process

EY Australia CEO and Oceania Regional Managing Partner Tony Johnson has announced that he will step down from the role at 30 June 2021.

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  • EY Australia CEO and Oceania Regional Managing Partner Tony Johnson has announced that he will step down from the role at 30 June 2021.

Mr Johnson is in his seventh year in the role, during which time the enterprise has grown revenue by over $1 billion from $1.1 billion to more than $2.2 billion, averaging annual double-digit revenue growth whilst navigating unprecedented change. 

Mr Johnson said: “It has been an immense privilege to lead this fantastic organisation and its’ amazing people and I greatly appreciate the support I have received from our people and clients. I consider myself very fortunate to have been provided the opportunities, experiences and learnings during my time with the firm.”

“While there is no fixed term limit, upon coming to the role I committed to give it my all for five years and then it would be best for EY, my family and me to pass the baton.  Time has flown and I missed the five-year mark but am certain this is the right time for a change. The business is in a great position, with tremendous momentum and a strong and positive culture.  I am very confident of the firm’s ongoing success given the quality of our people and clients and the depth of leadership within EY to take the business forward.”

“When I accepted the role in late 2014 I knew we were a very good organisation with outstanding talent and great values. My focus has been on instilling additional belief across the firm so that we are more bold, confident and distinctive in all we do whilst continuing to deliver exceptional service to our clients,” Mr Johnson said.

Mr Johnson has led EY’s response to market disruption with a series of acquisitions in digital, data analytics, cyber security, technology, climate change and sustainability and the leading independent strategy consultancy Port Jackson Partners as part of building a world class strategy business.

Mr Johnson has shared his passion for fairness of opportunity, particularly driving a focused agenda of diversity and inclusion. He appointed a leadership team equally represented by women and men, eliminated the gender pay gap for like roles, set targets and achieved greater representation of women and those from culturally diverse backgrounds in the partnership, adopted an Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan and removed age-based partner retirement requirements.

Mr Johnson lent into the issues of workplace behavior highlighted by the #MeToo movement with changes to policy, actions and pro-active education sessions for all staff.  In 2015 Mr Johnson was one of the first CEO’s to publicly support the introduction of same-sex marriage. EY scored first place on the Australian Workplace Equality Index, which measures employers on their degree of LGBTI inclusion.

“I’m proud of the progress we have made to continuously enhance the diversity of our workforce and inclusivity of our workplace. We have more to do but the foundation and impetus is strong,” Mr Johnson noted.

During the 2019 Parliamentary Joint Committee Inquiry in the audit profession, Mr Johnson was strident in his commitment to, and support of “the diligent, clever and hardworking EY auditors, as well as those across the entire profession in Australia” noting they act with integrity and in the public interest, making a positive difference to everyday Australians.

Notably EY’s successful and ongoing management of the COVID- 19 crisis, has been based on an unwavering human centred approach, underpinned by authentic and regular communication. Mr Johnson noted that the contribution and adaptability of all EY people helped weather the economic downturn and ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19 without any COVID related loss of jobs while continuing to provide exceptional service to clients.

EY’s Asia-Pacific Area Managing Partner, Patrick Winter, thanked and congratulated Tony on his “brilliant 34-year - 24 as a partner - career with EY, which has successfully combined senior firm leadership roles with client serving responsibilities of our largest and most complex clients.”

Mr Winter noted: “Tony has been an outstanding leader – values based, always accessible and authentic, with sound judgement in decision making. His contribution to EY’s growth, distinctiveness, culture, and the inclusiveness of our workplace has been substantial. He will leave a positive and long-lasting legacy. We wish him well in the next phase of his career”.

Mr Winter added: “The process to appoint his successor will commence shortly with a view to an announcement before the end of March 2021.” In the meantime, Mr Johnson is focused on maintaining the firm’s momentum through to 30 June, ensuring a seamless handover to his successor and fulfilling his client commitments before retiring from the partnership on 31 October 2021 and moving to the next phase of his career.



Press contact

Melanie Kent, Ernst & Young Australia

+61 497 052 670

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