1 November 2022

Kramer to replace Farlinger as BDO global CEO

BDO has announced that Pat Kramer, former chief executive of BDO in Canada and a member of BDO’s Global Board, will succeed Keith Farlinger as the global chief executive of the BDO organisation.

“I am delighted to be taking over from Keith, who has done a fantastic job over the past few years,” said Kramer.  “Keith’s focus has been to unify BDO as a global organisation, based on a strong leadership strategy including initiatives to manage risk and invest in quality.  In my new role, I will solidify what Keith has started, to protect and strengthen BDO while leading with our great culture and shared purpose of People helping People.  However, those focus areas aside, today’s biggest challenge is undoubtedly the pace of change.  We are no longer periodically interrupted by change, we now live in a world of change.”

In a statement BDO said that in a change-dominated business world, one of Kramer’s most important focus areas will be talent, which entails both a challenge and an opportunity. From ‘the war for talent’ to the ‘Great Resignation’, all worldwide businesses - from the SME to the large corporates - are struggling to attract and retain the right talents.

According to the company there are many drivers for the increasing talent crisis.  The business landscape changed in every way possible due to the recent healthcare crisis.  As the pace of change increased, so did the need for very different profiles, not readily available in the market.   Compounded and accelerated by the pandemic, people have also started to rethink what they want out of life.  Flexible and hybrid working needs to be taken seriously, and the mental, physical and financial well-being of the talent force an undeniable necessity.  Finally, today’s new talents have clear expectations when entering the business world.  They will choose their employer, not only based on a fair remuneration and mental health, but also on the company culture, ethical behaviour, inclusivity and sustainability.

“BDO is a people-driven organisation,” said Kramer. “Our talents are our true strength. Without the right talents, we will not be able to help our clients’ (changing) issues, we will struggle with delivering the quality standards we pride ourselves on, nor will we be able to grow.  Just like any other organisation, we face those same challenges.  To turn these challenges into an opportunity, we will be leveraging the great work of our member firms and continue to invest, with a global mindset, in global talent initiatives to create a learning and development culture.

“By increasing the collaboration between all of our firms and considering our worldwide people as one large talent pool, we will not only gain in productivity, but we will also allow our people to become true global citizens, working together on a variety of projects and providing them more flexibility and more opportunities to grow.  That aside, DE&I – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are hugely important to me.  Important steps have been taken to have a more diverse workforce, but more will need to be done.”

Kramer is based in Calgary, Canada and has been the chief executive of BDO in Canada for the past seven years, during which time the firm has grown, celebrated its Centennial in 2021 and joined the ranks of Canada’s Top 100 employers.

Kramer has over 30 years of industry experience advising Canadian businesses on complex business issues.  He has held numerous leadership roles throughout his 32-year career at BDO. His leadership is marked by a focus on culture and digital transformation.

He has been the Canadian member of the BDO Global Board since his appointment as chief executive.