J. Michael Cook

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In Brief:

J. Michael Cook, CPA, UF Alumnus 1964

  • 1942: Born in New York, NY
  • 1964: Graduated with honors from UF, BSBA in Accounting
  • 1964: Joined Deloitte, Haskins & Sells
  • 1970: Promoted to Manager
  • 1974: Partner in Deloitte, Haskins & Sells
  • 1981: Managing Partner in Deloitte, Haskins & Sells
  • 1983: National Managing Partner in Deloitte, Haskins & Sells
  • 1986: Chairman & Chief Executive of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells
  • 1986: UF Distinguished Alumnus
  • 1989: Directed merger resulting in formation of Deloitte & Touche
  • 1989: Deloitte & Touche Chair & CEO
  • 1999: Retires from Deloitte & Touche
  • 1999: Accounting Hall of Fame
  • 2001: Public Oversight Board's John J. McCloy Award
  • 2005: Eli Lilly & Co. Board of Directors

“If it's the right thing to do, and it's the smart thing to do — do it.”

Mr. Cook has written and spoken extensively on international accounting standards, business globalization, auditor independence, corporate governance, gender equality in the workplace, tort and securities law reform, and has often testified before Congress on professional issues.

The Early Years...

View Video Mike Cook:
Fisher School's 25th Anniversary

J. Michael Cook was born September 16, 1942, in New York, NY. He was raised in south Florida and graduated from North Miami High School before coming to the University of Florida. At UF he wasn't sure what he wanted to major in and initially selected math because it was one of his strengths. He realized that pursuing a math degree, at the level he aspired to, would mean committing to a Ph.D. degree. With limited finances he explored other alternatives. A counselor recommended he think about business as a major, specifically accounting.

During his sophomore year he took a couple of accounting classes, and discovered that with a degree in accounting you had a lot of opportunities to work with peopleā€¦and interesting people and that it was a growing profession. As Mike recalled years later in an interview “The more I learned, the better it sounded and so I became an accounting major and that's how it all got started.” He graduated from the University of Florida with honors in 1964. While at the University of Florida, Mike was Treasurer and Social Chairman of his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. He was also a member of Beta Alpha Psi, Business Administration Student Organization Council, and the IFC Social Committee.

CPA, Businessman, Leader...

J. Michael Cook is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte & Touche, LLP. He joined Deloitte, Haskins & Sells in 1964 as a staff accountant. He was promoted to manager in 1970 and partner in 1974. He was named managing partner of the Florida practice in 1981, and, national managing partner in 1983. In 1986 he became chairman and chief executive, and directed the merger in 1989 that resulted in the formation of Deloitte & Touche. He served as chairman and CEO of that company until his retirement in 1999.

Through his leadership, Deloitte & Touche was ranked No. 8 on Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work for in America and one of Working Mother magazine's 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers for five consecutive years. He has received numerous awards for his commitment to the advancement and retention of high-talent women. In 1995 Deloitte & Touche was the recipient of the prestigious Catalyst Award.

He served as Chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in its centennial year and was a member of its Auditing Standards Board. He was the Chairman and President of the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation. Mr. Cook chaired the World Congress of Accountants, was a member of the Advisory Council of the International Accounting Standards Committee and is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Securities Regulation Institute.

As an author and spokesman on professional issues, he led the effort for securities law reform resulting in the enactment of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995, and has often testified before Congress on professional issues. In 1999, Mr. Cook was inducted as the 62nd member into the Accounting Hall of Fame. He was the recipient of the AICPA Public Oversight Board's McCloy Award in 2001. He is Chairman of the GAO Accountability Advisory Panel, which provides guidance to the Comptroller General of the United States and other GAO executives. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Strategic & International Studies and of the National Association of Corporate Directors' Blue Ribbon Commission on Corporate Governance. He has served as Chairman of the Oversight Committee of the Financial Accounting Foundation.

Mr. Cook serves on the boards of directors and audit committees of several corporations. He serves as a board member of The Dow Chemical Company, Rockwell Automation, International Flavors & Fragrances, and Comcast Corporation, and as an independent trustee and board member of The Fidelity Group of Mutual Funds. Mr. Cook chairs the audit committees of International Flavors & Fragrances, Rockwell Automation and Comcast Corporation. In 2002, he was named by Director's Alert as one of the 9 Best Directors in the country. In 2005, Mr. Cook was elected to Eli Lilly and Company Board of Directors.

Mr. Cook serves on the board of trustees of The Scripps Research Institute and is a member of its Executive Committee and Chairman of its Finance Committee. The Scripps Research Institute is one of the country's largest, private, non-profit research organizations and stands at the forefront of basic biomedical science. The Institute has become internationally recognized for its basic research into immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, virology and synthetic vaccine development.

Giving Back...

Mr. Cook has been an active leader of civic organizations. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Catalyst. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Governors of United Way of America. He was a Director of The STAR Foundation (Society to Advance the Retarded and Handicapped). In New York, Mr. Cook has been Chairman of the Board of United Way of Tri-State and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Central Park Conservancy and the New York City Ballet. Under Mr. Cook's leadership, Deloitte & Touche received United Way of America's Spirit of America award in 1993.

Mr. Cook is a former member of the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Business School and a member of the Business Advisory Board of the University of Florida. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Associates of Harvard Business School and the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami. He is the recipient of the Columbia School of Business Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics, Yeshiva University's Distinguished Leadership Award and Monmouth College's Distinguished Business Leader. Mr. Cook was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Florida in 1986.

Mike and his wife Mary Anne live in Greenwich, Connecticut.