Speech by SEC Chairman:
Statement at Press Briefing to Announce Selection
of the Chairman
of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
Chairman William H. Donaldson
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
April 15, 2003
I would like to begin by thanking my fellow Commissioners and members of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board for joining us today. I'm very excited that we can all be here to make the much-anticipated announcement of the Commission's choice to be Chairperson of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Mr. William McDonough.
As you know, Mr. McDonough is currently serving as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and had the SEC not come calling, was looking forward to retiring from public life. Those of you who asked me about candidates for this position during our search, will recall that I often said that the right person to serve in this vital position was most likely perfectly happy doing what he or she was already doing. Well, in this case, that has turned out to be true. After almost 10 years of outstanding service at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, I'm sure that Mr. McDonough was looking forward to stepping out of the limelight - at least for a while. Fortunately, though, he has chosen to answer the call of public service once again
America's markets, business community and entire economy are at a critical crossroads. We have weathered the storm of scandal and continue to seek justice and pursue wrongdoing. The PCAOB plays an invaluable role in our efforts to strengthen corporate America's credentials here at home and around the world. Bill McDonough's proven record of strong leadership, long commitment to public service, and unquestioned integrity, give all who invest in America's public companies further reason to be confident in our efforts to demand honesty, transparency and integrity from all aspects of American business.
That's not to say that a strong foundation has not already been laid. All the Board's members, but particularly its Acting Chairperson, Charles Niemeier, have stepped up to the plate during an uncertain time, and have done a remarkable job. Charles, Dan, Kayla and Bill, thank you very much for your dedication - you have already served the American people well, and I know you will continue to put their best interests at the heart of all you do.
Last, I would like to commend my fellow commissioners, Cynthia Glassman, Harvey Goldschmid, Roel Campos and Paul Atkins. Even before I officially became Chairman, I knew that appointing a new Chairperson to the PCAOB would be my top priority. As soon as I came on the job, it was clear that we all shared the same goal: establish and implement a fair, inclusive, and open process that would ultimately lead us to an exceptional individual to take on this task. From the beginning, each Commissioner has been an outstanding partner in this process, and I would like to let each of them know how deeply I appreciated their dedication. Working together, we have found someone who not only meets the criteria outlined in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, but who also lives up to the additional standards that we all agreed were important including independence, and keen understanding of financial markets. This afternoon, we enthusiastically and unanimously announce that we have found that person in Bill McDonough.