RSM International, a global leader in assurance, tax, and consulting services, is set to undergo a significant leadership transition as CEO Jean Stephens announces her retirement after 17 years at the helm. Having laid the groundwork for the revolutionary 2030 Global Strategy, Stephens, along with the RSM International Board, recognizes the need for a formal succession and transition procedure to ensure a seamless shift in leadership.
Stephens, who will remain as Network CEO until May 2024, will then assume an advisory role focused on member matters and development to facilitate a smooth transition. Her tenure as CEO has been transformative, witnessing the expansion of the RSM network from $2.4 billion, 23,000 individuals, and 72 countries in 2006 to an impressive $8 billion, 57,000 employees, and 120 countries as of January 2023. Under her leadership, RSM has solidified its position as the top middle-market provider of professional services globally.
A trailblazer, Stephens was the lone female CEO among the Top 10 global professional services networks until 2022, serving as an inspiration for women in leadership. Stephens joined RSM in 1996 as COO before assuming the position of CEO in 2006. She leaves behind initiatives like the RSM Academy, a global leadership development program, and her dedication to making quality a key component of RSM's strategy. Her role in developing and launching a unified global brand in 2015 has been instrumental in RSM's growth.
Reflecting on her tenure, Stephens notes, “It has been an extreme honour and a real privilege to lead such an ambitious and entrepreneurial Network and to work so closely and for so long with RSM’s exceptional leaders and teams of professionals around the world.” With the newly established 2030 Strategy in place, she emphasizes the importance of welcoming a new global CEO to guide RSM towards further strength and success.
RSM International Board Chairman Joe Adams expresses gratitude for Stephens' exceptional service and leadership, acknowledging her role in expanding the organization into a dynamic, worldwide entity. Adams highlights Stephens' ongoing contribution to the 2030 Strategy, underscoring the significance of her strategic advisory role in member matters and development during the transition.
Looking ahead, the RSM CEO Succession Committee will diligently select the right candidate to lead the company into the next decade and beyond. As RSM gets ready for this crucial change, the focus is still on maintaining the organization's momentum and commitment to excellence under new leadership while building on the foundation Stephens laid over her remarkable tenure.