New York, N.Y. -- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP announced that Chris Simmons has assumed the position of Chief Diversity Officer. In this role, Simmons will become a member of the Office of the Chairman and the firm's core executive leadership team. Mr. Simmons, 46, succeeds Toni Riccardi, who retired in June after serving in this role for the past three years.
As part of its strategy to ingrain diversity and worklife flexibility into the firm's culture, PricewaterhouseCoopers also appointed three partners to leadership positions within PwC's lines of service. Patty Tilton in Advisory, Jean Hobby in Assurance and Dina Pyron in Tax will each lead diversity and worklife efforts as members of their respective leadership teams. They will work closely with Simmons.
"PricewaterhouseCoopers is committed to becoming a 'great place to work' for all of our people,” says Dennis Nally, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP chairman and senior partner. “This is why diversity is an integral component of our firm's people strategy and why our chief diversity officer is a vital member of the firm's management team".
A partner with the firm, Simmons joined PricewaterhouseCoopers 12 years ago and has led the firm's corporate development office for the past three years. In that role, he managed the firm's evaluation and negotiation of equity investment opportunities, strategic initiatives, and acquisition and disposition matters. Prior to joining the corporate development group, Mr. Simmons served as a managing director advising clients on strategic and financial matters.
"Chris brings extensive managerial and strategic skills to this role," says Nally. "For the past few years, he has been an informal champion of diversity at PwC. His many strengths, combined with his long-term involvement with diversity recruitment and development, will enhance our commitment to creating an inclusive and flexible work environment where all people can succeed."
"I'm committed to developing the strategies and implementing the changes that will continue to make PwC the employer of choice for talented individuals of diverse backgrounds and beliefs," says Simmons.
Simmons received his undergraduate degree in Economics in 1979 from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1986.
During Riccardi’s tenure, PwC created the Center for an Inclusive Workplace, comprising 12 Diversity and WorkLife leaders in each of its major markets who manage programs that support the firm's strategic diversity and worklife flexibility goals, such as minority circles, women's networking circles and mentoring programs. The firm also made other changes, including an increase in the fully paid parental leave benefit from five to 15 days for both men and women and an extension of its emergency back-up care reimbursement program from five days to 20 days. In addition, for the first time in the firm's 154-year history, every U.S. office closed from December 24, 2003 through January 5, 2004.