Engineer-Turned-Consultant Mohamed Kande To Become PwC’s First Black Global Chair
Engineer turned consultant Mohamed Kande is set to become PwC’s next global chair and the first Black person to lead the Big Four firm.
Meet Mohamed Kande
Two years ago, Kande took to LinkedIn to detail his unique life story that spanned several countries and three continents.
Kande grew up in the Ivory Coast with his half-Lebanese mother in a Catholic and Muslim family before moving to France at 16.
He stated that France was not always an inclusive place in the 1980s, as he had encounters with far-right extremists and random ID checks for Black and Brown people.
Kande holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Montreal and the ESIGELEC in France.
Kande then found his way to the US, where he initially struggled with the language barrier.
He was told by colleagues at a Fortune 500 company that he was the first Black person she had ever spoken with.
In his early career, Kande worked for Motorola in Chicago and DTI Telecom in Canada, where he launched telecommunications networks in the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
According to The Financial Times, the LinkedIn post had a powerful effect inside PwC, where he worked as Vice Chair of US Consulting Solutions and Global Advisory Leader.
“It knocked down misperceptions about who can be a leader in our firm,” Paul Terrington, European head of consulting, told FT.
Before his roles at PwC, Kande was the managing partner for Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia at the consulting firm PRTM, which was acquired by PwC in 2011.
The First Black Leader
Kande, the electrical engineer turned management consultant, is becoming the first Black leader of a Big Four firm as he will take on the next in July 2024.
Tim Ryan, PwC’s current US senior partner, was widely seen as the favorite to win the top global job. However, he withdrew from the race last month.
In this role, Kande, whose expertise spans the areas of operational strategy, tech development, mergers, and acquisitions, also marks the first time PwC has picked someone from the firm’s consulting side rather than the audit or tax side.
As global chair of the PwC network, according to the Financial Times, Kande will be part businessman and diplomat.
He will be responsible for balancing the interests of locally-owned member firms in 152 countries.
His in-tray will include repairing the firm’s reputation after a tax scandal in Australia, and he will also have to push PwC to compete harder in the tech consulting market.
“I embrace change at every turn. Living among many cultures has helped me embrace the power of empathy and inclusivity,” Kande writes.