Meet Manish Sharma, the new CEO of Accenture North America

Manish Sharma will take role of CEO – North America at professional services giant Accenture as Jimmy Etheridge retires after 38 years with the firm

From 1 September, Accenture will have a new Chief Executive Officer for North America.

That’s because after 38 years with the consulting firm, Jimmy Etheridge is retiring. He will continue in an advisory capacity to oversee the transition to his successor, Manish Sharma.

Manish was previously Chief Operating Officer and his elevation creates a wave of internal moves at Accenture.

Chief Strategic Accounts & Global Sales Officer John Walsh will become Chief Operating Officer; Steve Ferneyhough, Accenture’s Lead – Sales, Europe, will become Chief Strategic Accounts & Global Sales Officer; Paul Daugherty, Group Chief Executive – Technology & Chief Technology Officer, will become Chief Technology & Innovation Officer; and Karthik Narain, Lead – Accenture Cloud First, Data & AI will become Group Chief Executive – Technology.

Sharma will be responsible for Accenture’s largest market, which generated US$29 billion in revenues in FY22.

“Manish has worked around the globe and across industries to help clients reinvent to create new value, enabled by technology, data and AI,” said Julie Sweet, Chair and CEO, Accenture. 

“And in his roles as our COO and as the Group Chief Executive – Operations, he has personally helped lead significant parts of Accenture’s own reinvention. He is committed to our people and to helping our clients and Accenture excel at this time of exponential change.”

Although Etheridge is a hard act to follow, Sharma has been with Accenture for 28 years himself and has a proven track record of creating business value for global clients. 

Before Accenture, Manish worked for a leading chartered accountant and management consultancy firm in India. He joined Accenture in 1995 and became a managing director in 2004.

Etheredge has been in his current role since 2019, guiding the firm through the dark days of the pandemic and positioning Accenture as a transformation leader.

“As CEO of North America, Jimmy achieved the greatest expansion of North America in our history by creating value for our clients as their reinvention partner of choice,” said Sweet. 

“Throughout, Jimmy has been focused on our people, including diversity, mental health and creating more opportunities. I am incredibly grateful for our close partnership over the years and for Jimmy’s dedication to Accenture, our clients and our people. Jimmy is a true steward of Accenture and we wish him the best.”

In his new role, Walsh will be responsible for leading the company’s business operations, executing business strategy, growth strategy, protecting infrastructure and steering the ongoing digital transformation of Accenture. Ferneyhough, meanwhile, will build on the company’s global sales organisation and is tasked with delivering growth.

Accenture to double-down on Generative AI opportunity

There is no escaping Generative AI right now and other appointments are designed to help make the most of the opportunity for consultancies like Accenture as clients grapple with how best to embrace the technology.

Daugherty will become Chief Technology & Innovation Officer – a new role that will focus on technology strategy and accelerating innovation capabilities. Described as a ‘visionary technologist’ Daugherty has led the Technology team through its highest growth period.

“For our clients, all strategies continue to lead to technology, particularly cloud, data, AI and security,” said Sweet. 

“Paul has delivered immense value helping to build the digital cores of our clients and the highest growth in our history. As a recognised, iconic leader in the marketplace with deep relationships across the ecosystem, the impact Paul can have in bringing that depth of experience to focus on the future waves of growth and to accelerate innovation for our clients is immense.”

Adding to this increased emphasis on technology, Narain will lead Accenture’s Technology service, which includes Cloud First, Data & AI.

Accenture is a leading professional services company with more than 732,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries.

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