Joe Forehand, Jr. '71
|award:||Entrepreneur Hall of Fame|
As chairman and CEO of Accenture from 1999 to 2004, Forehand led the world’s top provider of management and technology consulting services and solutions through a period of significant change and growth. During his time as CEO, Accenture grew from $6.9 billion in revenue and 66,000 employees to $13.7 billion in revenue and 103,000 employees worldwide. Forehand, who earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn in 1971, ended his 34-year career with the company in 2006.
As CEO, Forehand was known for setting a fast pace. He spent more than 200 days on the road each year visiting clients and staff in the 47 countries where Accenture operated during his tenure.
As a public company, Accenture’s total return to shareholders was 74 percent at a time when the S&P 100 Index decreased 14 percent. The company’s 2004 fiscal year return on invested capital would rank No. 1 relative to the S&P 100 companies.
Forehand joined Accenture in 1972, beginning with the Atlanta office and working in its products group with a mix of retailers, distributors, manufacturers and transportation organizations. He became partner in 1982 and eventually led the Atlanta Products group. In 1994, he was appointed head of the company’s Americas Products group.
Before being named CEO, he led Accenture’s Communications & High-Tech operating group. During his time with the firm, Forehand led 11 of Accenture’s 18 industry groups ranging from energy and retail to the airline industry. He became managing partner for the products global market unit in 1997, splitting time between offices in Dallas and Paris. He was named managing partner for the Communications & High Tech global market unit in 1998, utilizing expertise ranging from manufacturing and sales to enterprise financial systems.
His influence carried far beyond Accenture as he was a regular participant at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Consulting Magazine once named Forehand as its Most Influential Consultant, while InformationWeek identified him as one of the 15 most inspirational figures in information technology.
His accolades include the Carl S. Sloane Award for Excellence in Management Consulting and the Morgan Stanley Leadership Award for Global Commerce sponsored by the Computerworld Honors Program. Forehand earned the distinguished alumnus award presented by Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2016. He also received an honorary doctorate from Purdue University, where he earned a master’s in industrial administration in 1972.