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Deloitte U.K.’s Diversity Boss Steps Aside Amid Bullying Claims

March 5, 2021, 4:03 PM

Deloitte U.K.'s deputy CEO is stepping down amid reports of bullying, news that again focuses an uncomfortable spotlight on the supposedly toxic work culture at the Big Four accounting firms.

Dimple Agarwal, second-in-charge in the firm’s U.K. office and its managing partner for People & Purpose, has given up her management roles after two years on the executive team, Richard Houston, Deloitte’s U.K. CEO, said via email, adding “Dimple will be stepping down from her leadership roles. We’re grateful for what she’s achieved during her tenure.”

  • Agarwal did not immediately respond to a LinkedIn request for comment. According to her LinkedIn page, she was “responsible for our people agenda and the impact we have on our clients and society at large.”
  • London’s Telegraph newspaper had reported that Agarwal was under investigation by Deloitte over claims that she had bullied staff, with aggressive behavior on phone calls and demands that they work very long hours. Deloitte did not comment on the allegations, but the firm has said it has a “zero tolerance” policy regarding bullying and harassment.
  • Agarwal is the second senior Big Four executive to resign in less than a month after staff complaints about their behavior. KPMG’s U.K. chairman resigned in February after telling staff to “stop moaning” about the pandemic in a video call.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Kapoor in London at correspondents@bloomberglaw.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at jharrington@bloombergindustry.com; David Jolly at djolly@bloombergindustry.com

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