Mr Johnson announced on Wednesday afternoon that it was time to “pass the baton” on after more than six years at the helm since his appointment in late 2014.
Mr Johnson, who is also the firm’s Oceania regional managing partner, has overseen the firm’s doubling of revenue from $1.1 billion in 2014 to $2.13 billion in 2020.
“While there is no fixed term limit, upon coming to the role I committed to give it my all for five years and then it would be best for EY, my family and me to pass the baton,” Mr Johnson said.
“Time has flown and I missed the five-year mark but am certain this is the right time for a change.
“The business is in a great position, with tremendous momentum and a strong and positive culture. I am very confident of the firm’s ongoing success given the quality of our people and clients and the depth of leadership within EY to take the business forward.”
Mr Johnson will officially step down from his role on 30 June, before retiring from the firm’s partnership on 31 October.
He has been with the firm for 34 years, including 24 years as a partner.
EY’s Asia-Pacific area managing partner, Patrick Winter, thanked Mr Johnson for his leadership on diversity and inclusion, and for successfully navigating them through the COVID-19 crisis.
EY did not announce any COVID-related redundancies, despite other big four firms doing so, and has since repaid staff a portion of their pay cuts mandated at the height of the crisis.
“Tony has been an outstanding leader — values-based, always accessible and authentic, with sound judgement in decision-making,” Mr Winter said.
“His contribution to EY’s growth, distinctiveness, culture and the inclusiveness of our workplace has been substantial. He will leave a positive and long-lasting legacy. We wish him well in the next phase of his career.”
EY has now embarked on a search for its new chief executive, and is expected to announce Mr Johnson’s successor by the end of March.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.