Mr Deutsch did not provide detailed reasons for his departure, but the announcement comes just two and a half years into a four-year appointment.
“It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to lead this great firm,” Mr Deutsch said. “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved over the past two and a half years.
“We have navigated the greatest health and economic crisis of our generation and secured the future of the business while continuing to serve our clients with distinction. But this period has come at some personal cost.
“The firm is extremely well placed for the future and I believe that it is time to hand over to a new CEO who will drive the firm into the next phase of Deloitte’s growth.”
Mr Deutsch, who joined Deloitte in 2015 after over 25 years at PwC, will remain in his role until a new chief executive has been selected.
Deloitte’s board will now conduct a process to select a new chief executive who is expected to be from the Australian partnership.
Deloitte chair Tom Imbesi thanked Mr Deutsch for his leadership as CEO.
“I would like to thank Richard for his leadership. He is an authentic leader who has always displayed a deep passion for our clients and compassion for our people,” Mr Imbesi said.
“Under Richard’s leadership, we have integrated into the Deloitte Asia-Pacific firm, continued our strong growth momentum, and navigated successfully through the COVID-19 crisis, while securing the financial health of the business. We wish Richard the best for the future.”
The big four firm had previously shed approximately 7 per cent of its over 10,000-strong workforce at the height of COVID-19, alongside a 20 per cent pay cut for five months, although a portion of the pay cuts were repaid after posting better-than-expected first-half results.
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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.