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Former chairman and chief executive officer of Deloitte & Touche LLP
J. Michael Cook received the Botwinick Prize for his role in developing and implementing Deloitte & Touche's Initiative for the Retention and Advancement of Women. Faced with the fact that women were leaving the firm at a faster rate then men, Deloitte & Touche embarked on an exceptional program. Since 1992, the program has reduced turnover for both men and women, and the number of women partners and women in leadership positions has more than tripled.
Professor Meyer Feldberg, dean of Columbia Business School, said “Mike's commitment to his employees through initiatives that place value on balance between work and family has made a difference in people's lives. At Columbia Business School we successfully launched a strategic effort to enroll a greater number of women MBAs. Mike's active involvement in creating a work environment that encourages and rewards women is especially important to us.” Professor Feldberg continued, “I am proud that Mike Cook—a member of Columbia Business School's Board of Overseers—is receiving this honor.”
J. Michael Cook is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Deloitte & Touche LLP. Cook joined Haskins & Sells in 1964, becoming a partner in 1974. He was named national managing partner of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells in 1983; he became chairman and CEO of the firm in 1986. In 1989, Cook directed the merger of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells and Touche Ross and was named chairman and CEO of Deloitte & Touche LLP. He also served as chairman of the Deloitte & Touche Foundation and a member of the Board of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Under his leadership, the firm received the prestigious Catalyst Award and the United Way “Spirit of America” Award and was recognized as one of the best companies to work for in America. Cook is also a board member of Comcast Corporation, International Flavors & Fragrances, Northrop Grumman, and an independent trustee and member of the board of The Fidelity Group of Mutual Funds. He also serves as chairman of the Accountability Advisory Council to the Comptroller General of the United States.
Known as a strong and effective spokesperson on tough professional issues, he has written and spoken extensively on international accounting standards, the globalization of business, auditor independence, corporate governance, gender equality in the workplace, tort and securities law reform, and has often testified before Congress on professional issues. He led the profession's effort that resulted in the enactment of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995 and its counterpart Uniform Standards legislation in 1998; this legislation significantly changed the standards for business litigation.
His many honors and awards include the Yeshiva University’s Distinguished Leadership Award and Monmouth College’s Distinguished Business Leader. In 1986, he was named Distinguished Alumnus by his alma mater, the University of Florida, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of its Beta Alpha Psi and Fisher School of Accounting.