STRAIGHT TO THE TOP
JOSEPH J. ECHEVARRIA, BBA ’78. CEO, DELOITTE LLP, MIAMI
BY DIANA JORDAN

DELOITTE LLP’S NEW CEO
Joe Echevarria took over as head of the U.S. professional services leader in June.


In June, Joe Echevarria became CEO of Deloitte LLP, the U.S. arm of professional services giant Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). It was the next step in a journey that began when he joined the firm right after graduating from the School of Business, and one that has Echevarria leading more than 50,000 Deloitte employees in 90 cities around the U.S. and India, while actively working with policymakers in Washington, D.C. 

The top leadership position wasn’t where Echevarria, who recently became chairman of the School’s Board of Overseers, saw himself heading when he joined the firm right out of UM. But he steadily moved through the organization’s leadership ranks, becoming U.S. chief operating officer in 2007. Now, he’s adjusting quickly to his new role. “I was used to making decisions during meetings, but there was always one more person to consult or refer to,” he says. “Now I’m that person.” To become that person, Echevarria says, he has followed a simple leadership philosophy. “Caring about others is one of the most important aspects of this business,” he explains. “People want to be inspired, and putting them first is essential.” 

Echevarria’s aspirations when he was an undergraduate at the School of Business were perhaps more modest. A native of the Bronx, he spent his time between the classroom and his work-study program at the University in order to pay his tuition, while maintaining the stellar GPA that would lead to being recruited by Deloitte. Although school came naturally to Echevarria, he says he never took anything for granted. Instead, he set out a deliberate path for post-UM success. “You need to start backward and assess what you have to do to get to where you want to be,” Echevarria says. But, he adds, success is about more than a clear plan — it also requires passion for one’s work and a positive attitude. “I always choose to stay away from saying there are really bad days,” he says. “Some days are just better than others.” 

An auditor by profession, Echevarria has held a number of leadership positions at Deloitte, including deputy managing partner and Southeast region audit managing partner. His responsibilities today also include chairing the firm’s executive committee and serving on the DTTL global board and executive committee. He is also on the executive committee of Deloitte’s regional organization for the Americas. 

Although his career in recent years has seen him spending lots of time in both New York and Miami, it’s clear that Echevarria’s ties to Miami are strong. He is a member of the Orange Bowl Committee, has served on the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Governors and Trustees and the Dade Education Fund board, and is a past president of the United Way Young Leaders of Florida. The Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting named Echevarria Executive of the Year in 2007, and he is a member of the organization’s corporate advisory board. He has three children with his wife, Ana, an IT consultant for Bacardi. 

“I’d love to stroll down the University’s beautiful campus after I retire, and probably go to law school or medical school. I always need to be doing something,” he says. “My passions are in Miami, and that’s where I’ll complete the last leg of my journey.”


Joe Echevarria talks to CNBC About Deloitte's hiring plans. <<

Read the Wall Street Journal's Q&A with Joe Echevarria [requires subscription) <<

Read the release about Joe Echevarria's appointment as CEO. <<

Fall 2011
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