CHICAGO (March 27, 2020) Crowe, a public accounting, consulting and technology firm with offices around the world, has announced the appointment of Mark Baer, 50, as its CEO-elect. He will assume the CEO role on April 1, 2021. Jim Powers continues to serve as CEO until March 31, 2021, completing his second term, the maximum in accordance with the firm’s partnership agreement.
For the past five years, Baer has served as the managing partner of the firm’s Audit and Assurance Services, leading a team of more than 1,200 audit professionals.
Baer has also served in several leadership roles within the firm, including as a member of Crowe’s firmwide management committee, CEO advisory council and partner screening committee. He is a director of Crowe Cayman Ltd. and previously served as the Columbus, Ohio, office managing partner.
As CEO, Baer will focus on Crowe’s success as a great place to work, the firm’s digital transformation, including emerging services and solutions, as well as market expansion through key industry and geographic channels.
“My priorities leading Crowe’s Audit and Assurance practice have been maintaining the highest standards of audit quality and managing rapidly evolving technology while creating rewarding career experiences for our people,” said Baer. “I look forward to expanding that focus to the entire firm. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to serve Crowe’s people and clients in the role of CEO.”
The Crowe board of directors, which governs the firm, chose the CEO-elect after an extensive vetting process.
“Mark was chosen to lead our firm for many reasons but primarily due to his visionary mindset with a focus on our digital transformation, his track record of successful leadership of our Audit and
Assurance practice and his commitment to audit quality,” said Dawnella Johnson, Crowe board chair. “He’s a strong communicator and inspirational leader, with a concentration on building talent and teams. The board is confident that Mark is the right person to lead Crowe’s brand promise of helping our clients and our people make smart decisions today that will lead to lasting value tomorrow.”
The firm’s CEO succession plan includes a one-year transition period for Powers and Baer to work together. “Today our main focus is on the safety of our people and our communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding we must also plan for the firm’s future,” Johnson said. “The one-year CEO transition period allows us to focus on both our short-term and long-term plans.”
Baer has served public and private middle-market companies for nearly 30 years. He worked with a Big Four firm for 10 years before joining Crowe in 2001 and being elected partner in 2003.
Baer serves as a member of the Center for Audit Quality advisory council and is a certified public accountant. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Manchester University, North Manchester, Indiana.
Crowe LLP is a public accounting, consulting and technology firm with offices around the world. Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities. The firm and its subsidiaries also help clients make smart decisions that lead to lasting value with its tax, advisory and consulting services. Crowe is recognized by many organizations as one of the best places to work in the U.S. As an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world, Crowe serves clients worldwide. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.