CEO Roundup—Deloitte drops diversity groups; CEO ousted at Avon

Deloitte eliminates diversity groups in deference to Millennials, who prefer not to be "pigeon-holed."(Deloitte)

Deloitte drops workplace diversity groups

Deloitte, the New York-based accounting and consulting firm, is eliminating employee diversity groups focused on women and minorities—and replacing them with so-called “inclusion groups,” where white men also have a place at the table, according to a July 19 report by Bloomberg Businessweek. Claiming that diversity advancement and breakthroughs have been put on pause in recent years by corporate America—and that its own new workforce of Millennials does not like to be “pigeon-holed”—Deloitte has begun to transition away from traditional approaches built around gender, race or sexual orientation. After 24 years, WIN, the women’s initiative at Deloitte, will end, the business news outlet said. Over the next 18 months the company also will phase out Globe, which supports gay employees; as well as other groups focused solely on veterans and minority employees. “We are turning it on its head for our people,” says Deepa Purushothaman, the national managing principal for Inclusion at Deloitte, who has spearheaded the WIN group’s activities since 2015. “By having everyone in the room, you get more allies, advocates, and sponsors,” Purushothaman said, adding, “A lot of our leaders [still are] older white men, and they need to be part of the conversation and advocate for women. But they’re not going to do that as much if they don’t hear the stories and understand what that means.”

Avon CEO is ousted

The scuttlebutt is true: CEO Sheri McCoy is out at Avon after more than five years at the helm. Fortune reported on August 3. She will depart the New York City-based cosmetics and personal care outfit next March, following poor second-quarter results released this week. She was shown the door by activist investors Barington Capital Group and partner NuOrion Partners—which together own more than 3% of the company and had been critical of the firm's turnaround plan for the past three years. Indeed, Barington said that McCoy had “overseen a tremendous destruction of shareholder value” and was not able to adequately manage the company, the Wall Street Journal reported on the same day. Specifically, the company shares had fallen by 85% under her leadership; however, Fortune noted that the 100-plus-year-old company was already in disarray when McCoy came aboard. At this time, Avon has not commented on her replacement.

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