Rob McLeod will step down as EY Oceania managing partner and chief executive on 31 December 2014.
A statement from the firm said Mr McLeod will return to his home country of New Zealand from 1 January 2015 to take up a new position as non-executive chairman of EY New Zealand.
Mr McLeod said he plans to retire from the EY partnership in FY18 and wants to be based in New Zealand for a period prior to his eventual retirement.
His successor has not yet been appointed, with the firm saying an internal process to screen candidates will commence at the earliest opportunity.
EY Oceania chairman Michael Wachtel thanked Mr McLeod for his efforts as chief executive.
“We are proud of the results Rob has achieved,” Mr Wachtel said. “During Rob’s time as CEO, EY was a growth leader in two of the four years among the Big 4 accounting firms in Australia, noteworthy considering the challenging market conditions this part of the world has experienced and continues to experience.”
“Rob has also championed gender equity and indigenous equality, including launching EY’s reconciliation Action Plan in 2011.”
Mr McLeod has been instrumental in integrating EY’s Oceania business into EY’s Asia-Pacific Area over the past four years, according to a statement released by the firm.
This integration has been an important step in the globalisation of the firm, contributing to the strength of EY’s current position both in Australia and New Zealand and standing the firm in good stead for the future, EY said.