The Fortune 500 has a new woman CEO: Accenture’s Julie Sweet

Posted at 4:48 AM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 06:59:12-04

Accenture has named Julie Sweet as its next CEO, adding to the few woman who run major companies.

The consulting company said Thursday that Sweet, 51, will take the top job in September. She’s currently the head of Accenture’s North America business, which accounts for almost 50% of the company’s global revenues.

“Julie is the right person to lead Accenture into the future, given her strong command of our business and proven ability to drive results in our largest market,” David Rowland, the company’s interim CEO and incoming executive chairman, said in a statement.

Sweet joined Accenture in 2010. She served as the company’s general counsel after 10 years as a partner at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

There are more women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies than ever before. The latest Fortune list, published in May, put the total at a record high of 33.

That’s up from the prior record of 32 in 2017 — but women, such Mary Barra of General Motors and Ginni Rometty of IBM, still represent just 6.6% of Fortune 500 chief executives.

Sweet also serves on the boards of Catalyst, a nonprofit that promotes advancement for women in the workplace, and the Business Roundtable, one of the most powerful business lobbies in Washington.

As head of Accenture North America, she’s focused on how technology is changing business and the workplace, and how companies can adapt.

“We’ve really seen a shift in both the competitive landscape, and just how companies are thinking about digital,” Sweet told CNN Business in January. “[They’re saying], ‘Digital is clearly critical, and if we don’t get the trust equation right, we’re not going to be able to drive our growth.'”