Risk & Compliance

McDonough to Leave PCAOB

After William Webster left under a cloud, the second chairman of the accounting oversight board took control in June 2003.
Stephen TaubSeptember 23, 2005

William McDonough said he will resign as chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which was created to oversee the auditing industry in the wake of a number of high-profile corporate scandals.

The 71-year-old McDonough said he will leave November 30 or when his successor is in place, whichever is sooner. “I came to the PCAOB in June 2003 to help it fulfill the great responsibilities assigned to it by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to protect investors in U.S. public companies by overseeing the accounting firms that audit these companies,” he said.

He pointed out that the agency is now up and running with nearly 400 people and that “the supervisory process that we have adopted is working well.”

McDonough, a former president of the New York Federal Reserve, took the helm of the PCAOB after the board’s first chairman, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director William Webster, resigned over allegations about his actions at United Technologies, where he was chairman of the audit committee.

Rep. Michael Oxley (R-Ohio), co-author of the regulatory act that bears his name, said McDonough “took the mandate in Sarbanes-Oxley and shaped an effective organization to oversee the auditing of public companies,” according to Reuters. “He was the perfect man for the job.”

McDonough said that he has “a wide range of interests in corporate governance, finance, and international affairs and will explore one or a variety of activities” in those areas. “I enjoy perfect health and have not the slightest interest in retiring, now or ever,” he added.

He will continue as chairman of the Investments Committee of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, as chairman of the Review Group on the Organization of Financial Sector and Capital Markets at the International Monetary Fund, and as a board member of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.