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SEC removes William Duhnke III from PCAOB chair role

Following Duhnke’s removal from the board, Duane DesParte has been designated to serve as acting chairperson, effective June 4

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fired William Duhnke III from his role as chair of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

Following Duhnke’s removal from the board, Duane DesParte has been designated to serve as acting chairperson, effective 4 June.

In addition to the change in leadership, the SEC also announced that it intends to seek candidates to fill all five board positions on the PCAOB, with additional information to be provided in the coming weeks.

Established by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the PCAOB oversees the audits and financial statements of public companies and brokers via registration, standard setting, inspection, and disciplinary programs.

Gary Gensler, chair of the SEC, said that the body “has an opportunity to live up to Congress’s vision” through the act.

He added: “I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners, acting chair DesParte, and the staff of the PCAOB to set it on a path to better protect investors by ensuring that public company audits are informative, accurate, and independent.”

Appointed as a member of the PCAOB in 2017, DesParte since joined the board following his retirement from Exelon Corporation, where he worked in various financial roles for 15 years.

He said: “I am honored to work with the SEC and the staff of the PCAOB as acting chair to ensure that we meet the mission established by Congress.”

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