Obama official Arun Kumar returns to KPMG India as CEO

Arun Kumar, who was assistant commerce secretary in the Barak Obama administration, is the new chairman and chief executive officer of KPMG India. Kumar succeeds Richard Rekhy, who resigned last November after being the CEO of the audit firm for four years.

Kumar's appointment is for five years beginning 5 February, KPMG said in a statement.

KPMG, one of the world's leading professional services firms, started its India office in September 1993 and has seen its operations grow. In the last four years, it doubled its India workforce strength to 14,000 people and inducted over 70 partners.

The selection process for KPMG's India CEO started last November and some of the firm's local partners too were in the nominees list. Kumar was eventually elected by KPMG's India board and all its partners too approved it on 4 February.

Kumar is an old hand at KPMG, having spent the most part of his career with the firm's US unit. He had served on the boards of KPMG US and KPMG Americas between 2008 and 2013. He then had a three-year stint with the US government as assistant secretary of commerce for global markets and director general of US and foreign commercial services.

In that role, said KPMG, Kumar had led a global organisation of senior professionals present in 78 countries and all the 50 states in the US.

He had also worked to strengthen commercial ties between India and the US and played a key role in establishing the India-US strategic and commercial dialogue and a renewed India-US CEO Forum.

John Veihmeyer, chairman, KPMG International, said, "Our global clients recognise the increasing significance of India as the fastest growing major economy in the world. I am delighted to welcome Arun back to KPMG. He is a trusted leader, who is recognised for his integrity, strategic vision and enduring relationships and I am confident that under Arun's leadership, KPMG India will continue to provide exceptional service to our clients, enhance our brand and further strengthen our reputation for the highest quality."

On his appointment, Kumar said, "I am honoured to have been elected as the chairman and CEO of KPMG in India. I have worked closely with the people of KPMG India for many years and have always been impressed by their world class talent. I am excited to have this opportunity to work with the KPMG team in India to continue to build an organisation that is recognised for their quality and for the impact they have on our clients".