Duhnke removed as PCAOB chair as transition to new board begins

By Ken Tysiac

The SEC removed PCAOB Chair William Duhnke III from his position on the board Friday as the SEC begins a transition that is expected to result in additional turnover for the board.

Duane DesParte, a CPA who was sworn in as a board member in April 2018, was named acting chair, and the SEC announced that it intends to seek candidates for all five positions on the board, one of which has been vacant since early 2021.

The SEC selects members and the chair of the board, which oversees audits of the financial statements of public companies and brokers and dealers through registration, standard setting, inspection, and disciplinary programs. The PCAOB was established by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, P.L. 107-204.

“The PCAOB has an opportunity to live up to Congress’s vision in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a news release. “I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners, Acting Chair DesParte, and the staff of the PCAOB to set it on a path to better protect investors by ensuring that public company audits are informative, accurate, and independent.”

DesParte joined the PCAOB after retiring from Exelon Corporation, where he served as corporate controller and in other financial roles for 15 years, following an 18-year career in the audit profession.

“I am honored to work with the SEC and the staff of the PCAOB as acting chair to ensure that we meet the mission established by Congress,” he said.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editorial director.

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