New wind blows as Zadek is replacedJuly 2010
An era has drawn to a close at the UK-based AccountAbility organization as its long-term head, Simon Zadek, has been officially replaced by Sunil Misser.
Misser, who began as chief executive officer last month, was previously AccountAbility's head of advisory services, and is expected to put more emphasis on developing consultancy and advisory services rather than on the body's traditional think tank, policy and research roles.
Zadek, one of the leading global thinkers on corporate responsibility, led AccountAbility for six years and was instrumental in its creation in 1995, but left in December and is believed to have been uneasy about its moves into more commercial territory.
He has set up as an independent consultant, working with companies such as General Electric and Nike, and is also a visiting senior fellow at the Centre for Government and Business at Harvard University.
Zadek declined to comment on the situation, but sources suggest he and others have disagreed with AccountAbility's realignment as a 'professional services firm' rather than as an internationally focused non-profit organization promoting corporate responsibility in general. The changed ethos has led to some departures from its council.
Since June 2008 Misser, an American, has led AccountAbility's advisory services arm, which is now the largest part of the organization. Before joining AccountAbility he was a global managing partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers' sustainability advisory business unit. By contrast, Zadek has ploughed a less commercial furrow, based more on research, writing, and the creation of multi-stakeholder initiatives.
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