PwC’s “Bundler” Outlives His UsefulnessBy Francine • Sep 12th, 2009 • Category: Latest, The Big 4 And Consulting
R. Carter Pate is no longer the US Advisory Leader at PwC. There was no announcement. I can’t even find an announcement of his replacement, Dana McIlwain, on the PwC US website. Only this short snippet in the September 2009 Faculty Newsletter:
“Continuing PwC’s decades long tradition of working together with educators, we are committed to staying connected to you and we look forward to an exciting year. Also, we recognize that the current challenging times make both our roles more difficult, but we are optimistic that our continuing collaboration will bring good results for your students and our profession…”
No mention of Mr. Pate, so I reached out to my highly placed contacts. I was told Mr. Pate remains on the Advisory Leadership Team doing “special projects.” He continues, therefore, to receive his huge payout without having to work with clients. The PwC I know does not admit failures and they made a big mistake when they gave the US Advisory Leadership job to Carter Pate last October.
It may have seemed “logical” at the time to put Mr. Pate in charge of not only reviving PwC’s Advisory (Consulting) practice but to expect him to also turbocharge it with lots of government contracts once Mr. McCain, the Republican, was elected President. When Mr. McCain lost, Mr. Pate lost his ability to dial for Federal government engagement dollars.
Once Mr. Obama was inaugurated, Mr. Pate came up with another brilliant plan to grow business in the Advisory practice. That’s when the rumors of PwC buying BearingPoint, the whole enchilada, started. I reported that strong rumor in early February. By the end of March, PwC had changed course and agreed to buy only BearingPoint’s commercial consulting practice. They left, or rather Mr. Carter left, perhaps via some ineptitude, arrogant boorishness, or lousy negotiation skills, the BearingPoint government consulting business on the table for Deloitte to snatch and grab for a bargain price.
That must have sealed Mr. Pate’s fate. He was out of the ivory tower in time for the new fiscal year that started July 1. When PwC announced on June 16, 2009 that they had completed the purchase of BearingPoint’s North American assets, Mr. Pate’s name was not listed. Joe Duffy is shown as the US Consulting leadership contact. By July 1, Mr. McIlwain was in place.
Not official but heard through the grapevine is that Carter will be taking over the XLOS leadership role for the Capital Projects and Infrastructure (CP&I). That’s an initiative to capture some of the work related to local governments’ use of stimulus money – secure funds, do the deal and advise. Sort of like “nation building” but right here in the good old U S of A.
McIlwain’s lieutenants are old stalwarts Joe Duffy and Dave Pittman in Chicago (who reports to Duffy). Jacqueline Olynyk, partner and national leader of the firm’s SAP Advisory practice is the force behind the bulk up of SAP and systems implementation activity – which, judging by the number folks I know let go and the difficulties integrating the BearingPoint SMEs (the job of a Bearing Point MD, Tom De Garmo,) is not going as well as she deserves. She’s one of the good “guys.” Duffy’s strength is in acquisitions and deals. He has a poor people and ethical behavior reputation, from what I hear.
Mike Koehnaman is someone I did not have a great impression of when I was at PwC. He did so much to stifle innovation and growth and continues in that role and as a hatchet man. People like Tom Puthiyamadam, the partner responsible for design and implement of Transform methodology, may start looking for greener pastures.
Interestingly enough, PwC must have heard my best and strongest admonition from the post last October:
“Is PwC staking the future of its Advisory practice on Mr. Pate’s Republican Party connections? They’d better check the polls.
In their selection of Mr. McIlwain, PwC senior leadership could not have chosen someone more politically opposite of Mr. Pate. Mr. McIlwain is a strong, $5000 plus strong, supporter of Barack Obama.