Deloitte Africa appoints first female CEO as Lwazi Bam is due to pass on the baton after a decade

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Incoming Ruwayda Redfearn is the first female CEO for Deloitte Africa and its fourth consecutive black CEO. 
Photo: Supplied
Incoming Ruwayda Redfearn is the first female CEO for Deloitte Africa and its fourth consecutive black CEO. Photo: Supplied
  • Deloitte Africa has appointed Ruwayda Redfearn as the incoming CEO
  • Redfearn will succeed Lwazi Bam, who will step down on 31 May 2022.
  • She will be the first female CEO for Deloitte Africa and its fourth consecutive black CEO.

Deloitte Africa CEO Lwazi Bam will step down after ten years in May 2022. The accounting giant announced on Monday that it has identified Ruwayda Redfearn as the incoming CEO to succeed Bam from 1 June 2022.

Bam has been CEO of Deloitte Africa since 1 June 2012. In the decade that he steered the ship, the auditing profession faced its most challenging time globally.

In SA, accounting and audit failures related to the state capture project, the demise of VBS Mutual Bank and the Steinhoff accounting scandal shone the spotlight on where auditors' work falls short of society's expectations of what they should be doing.

Being the auditor of Steinhoff, Tongaat Hulett and the old African Bank before it was placed on curatorship, Deloitte Africa has had to do damage control and defend its reputation a couple of times.

First female CEO for Deloitte Africa

Redfearn will be the first female CEO for Deloitte Africa and its fourth consecutive black CEO.

Redfearn started her career as a trainee at the Deloitte Durban office in 1997. She was later seconded to the New York office, returned to Durban and made partner in 2004 before being appointed to lead the audit practice of the KwaZulu-Natal region in 2010. Over the years, she's held several positions in the firm and on the Deloitte Africa board. She also served as the CFO of Grindrod Trading for two years but returned to Deloitte after that.

Redfearn said she was enthusiastic about being in a position to be at the forefront of change in the auditing profession.

"I look forward to working with our people and clients to address the increasingly complex challenges society faces – including social inequity, climate change, and economic inequality," she said.

The Deloitte Africa board will also be led by a woman, a development that marks a historic moment for Deloitte Africa.

The company announced that Delia Ndlovu will become the chair of the Deloitte Africa Board on 1 December 2021.

"I believe both appointments bring the very best of Deloitte's talent and capabilities for our people, our clients and the communities within which we operate. I have complete faith that our firm will continue to realise its purpose of 'making an impact that matters' under their leadership," said Bam.  

He said these appointments are not only a continuation of Deloitte's transformation journey but also a reflection of the firm's commitment to lead the way for the industry and foster inclusion.

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