Bill Michael, chairman of KPMG UK resigned today, saying his position at the Big 4 accounting firm had become “untenable” due to the reaction to his remarks at a Feb. 8 virtual town hall meeting, at which he told staffers to “stop moaning” and “stop playing the victim card” about their working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 52-year-old Australian also called discrimination caused by unconscious bias “complete and utter crap.”
KPMG launched an investigation into Michael’s “alleged comments” following a report about the meeting in the Financial Times.
Michael, who had stepped aside as chairman pending the completion of the probe, decided to call it quits after a more than 30-year run at KPMG.
"I love the firm and I am truly sorry that my words have caused hurt amongst my colleagues and for the impact the events of this week have had on them," he said in a statement.
"In light of that, I regard my position as untenable and so I have decided to leave the firm. It has been a privilege to have acted as chair of KPMG.”